Yes that’s right, global criminal gangs of medicine counterfeiters can damage your kidneys, causing kidney failure, or cancer.

Learn how to keep your kidneys safe from criminals by first keeping your medicines safe.

During Kidney Cancer Awareness Month, take some time to thank your kidneys for keeping you healthy by filtering toxins away from your body to the bladder.  You can learn to keep your kidneys healthy by limiting excess salt and alcohol, and by keeping them out of the clutches of global criminal gangs.   Yes that’s right, global criminal gangs of medicine counterfeiters can damage your kidneys, causing kidney failure, or cancer.  Learn how to keep your kidneys safe from criminals by first keeping your medicines safe.

Kidneys are the organs that serve as the body’s blood filter, removing wastes diverted to the bladder.  Because kidneys are the vital screening mechanism for the body, they are also heavily impacted by ingested toxins.

Counterfeit medications or unapproved herbal supplements which contain toxins unsafe for human consumption can cause kidney damage, including renal failure and kidney cancers.  Organizations as diverse as INTERPOL and The National Association of Boards of Pharmacy report that fake medications and dangerous unapproved herbal supplements are manufactured and sold by a growing group of organized criminals that run “affiliate networks” to sell dangerous counterfeit medications.

Using thousands of websites, they sell medications posing as legitimate pharmacies.  But they’re not.  And the medications they sell are often illegitimate, and potentially dangerous, especially to your kidneys.

Unapproved herbal remedies can contain toxins that cause kidney cancer or kidney failure.  Have a skin condition that your neighbor recommends buying an herbal remedy online for?  Ingredients in unapproved herbal remedies have been found to contain ingredients such as aristolochic acid, extracted from an aromatic flowering vine, aristolochia.  It’s a Group 1 carcinogen, which means the International Agency for Research on Cancer reports that it causes cancer in people.  But not only does it cause cancer, it’s been associated with more than 100 cases of kidney failure.

“It is not safe to purchase herbal remedies that are not FDA approved.  You put your health at risk by ingesting ingredients that may be cancerous, or cause renal failure, and you may never know exactly what those ingredients are if they aren’t identified correctly on the label,” says Marv Shepherd, Director of the Center for Pharmacoeconomic Studies and Chairman of the Pharmacy Administration Division at the University of Texas at Austin’s College of Pharmacy.

But unapproved herbal supplements aren’t the only things to keep away from your kidneys.  Counterfeit medications have been found to contain ingredients that can cause kidney cancer.  Contaminants found by researchers in counterfeit medications known to be carcinogenic to the kidneys including lead acetate, known for its sweet taste, and mercury.  Both ingredients, among other heavy metals and unapproved chemicals, were found by Korean researcher Dr. Kewon Min of Busan Paik Hospital in counterfeit medication purchased from fake pharmacy websites in a research study for the American Urological Association in October 2010.

Additives that counterfeiters have substituted for safe ingredients in fake drugs and health products have caused kidney stones and even kidney failure.  Melamine dissolved with formaldehyde was mixed into milk in baby formula in China in 2007.  It caused kidney stones and kidney failure in 54,000 children and killed six infants.  Boric acid, which causes kidney failure, has been found in many cases of counterfeit medication. Sweet tasting but poisonous diethelyne glycol, substituted for glycerin in counterfeit cough syrup consumed by children from Central America to Africa, caused kidney failure and killed more than one hundred children worldwide.

Fake medication can kill you by not fighting your kidney cancer. Counterfeit kidney cancer medication has been found in the United States by the FDA, as well as in Shanghai.  In both countries, the vital chemotherapy was found to contain no active ingredients.  In the U.S. the medication contained paint thinners, starch and sugar, while the Chinese fakes contained saline solution contaminated with bacteria.

Bill Bro, President of the Kidney Cancer Association warns: “Although there are effective therapies available to address kidney cancer, buying medication outside the secure closed drug supply system can expose you to toxins that are dangerous to your kidneys.”

Protect your kidneys by only buying FDA approved medication from NABP approved pharmacies.  Avoid sketchy online pill sellers who advertise absurdly low prices or “no prescription required.”

Learn more by downloading our consumer guide, “Save Money Safely On Prescriptions From Online Pharmacies.”