The proliferation of counterfeit drugs on the global market and easy availability via online pharmacies is an increasing problem. The makers of counterfeit drugs have enjoyed and profited from loopholes in a system designed to deliver healthy medicines to those in need. The rising cost of prescription medications and the ubiquitous presence of online and overseas pharmacies means more people than ever are threatened by these counterfeiting operations.

The Food and Drug Department of the Ministry of Public Health is urging the public to buy all medications at pharmacies to avoid the purchase of counterfeit drugs. The department issued the warning after learning of the sale of fake anti-malarial drugs in provinces of Laos sharing borders with neighbouring countries.

"Health officials confiscated counterfeit drugs and fined the street vendors selling them in Saravan province at the end of last year. Most of these drugs came into the country illegally," the department's Director General, Dr Somthavy Changvisommid, told Vientiane Times at the opening ceremony of the KPN Pharmaceutical Factory in Vientiane .

By Xayxana Leukai
30 March 2008

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