It’s Women’s Health Week. Do you know what risks women face from counterfeit medications?
How can disfiguration, uterine infection, diabetic shock, and post-partum hemorrhage be the results of purchasing medications outside the secure U.S. drug supply from fake online pharmacies?
Learn about how these conditions can be the result of purchasing fake medications and about what other illnesses, and even death, can be caused by counterfeit medications.
The Top 9 Health Risks Women Face From Counterfeit Medications
Disfiguration has been caused by Counterfeit Botox™ containing questionable inauthentic ingredients, such as cooking oil, which caused abscesses, scarring and kidney failure in victims. A New Zealand woman was hospitalized for 6 weeks after being injected by an unknown substance by a friend who bought fake Botox online.
Uterine infection is the likely result of counterfeit IUDs, a “nationwide problem” says the FDA. Trying to save money by purchasing fake IUDS has exposed women to unsanitary items that could cause uterine infection, complications, and unwanted pregnancy.
“Unapproved products bring a lot of unknowns into the equation,” said FDA compliance officer Kathleen Anderson. “An internet ad may claim to sell IUDs made in Canada, but there’s no way to be sure. They might have been made anywhere in the world and in unsanitary or undesirable conditions.”
Diabetic shock and coma are the consequence of counterfeit insulin pen needles, fake diabetes test strips, and falsified diabetes medications. Incidents of these have all been tested and found by government agencies. The Mayo clinic lists diabetes as one of the top killers of women.
Resold, or counterfeit test strips are likely to give incorrect readings, and cause treatment failure. Watch out for old test strips sold online.
Malaria is particularly deadly to pregnant mothers and their unborn children. While malaria is curable with authentic artemisinin combination therapies, fake anti-malarial drugs have become a crisis in southeast Asia.
According to the Center for Disease Control, malaria is at risk to re-emerge in the US, especially in the southern states. Counterfeit antimalarial drugs have been found in Africa, Southeast Asia, East Asia and even the Solomon islands.
Chronic lower respiratory disease is one of the top killers of women, according to The Mayo Clinic. Counterfeit antibiotics and flu vaccines, both found by investigators in fake pharmacies, can turn curable conditions into chronic life-threatening conditions like bronchitis and emphysema.
Worldwide, vaccines have been subject to counterfeiting, including the inoculation 60,000 people in Niger with fake meningitis vaccines, and 1,400 people in Texas injected with fake flu vaccine.
Post-partum hemorrhage, the leading cause of maternal mortality according to the American College of Obstetricians and Gynecologists is treatable with Misoprostol…unless it’s fake. Counterfeit Misoprostol, found widely worldwide could cost a mother’s life before the mistake is discovered.
Each year, 45 million women deliver without a skilled attendant, a situation in which the greatest number of maternal deaths occurs,” says World Health Organization experts, adding that “women can safely self-administer misoprostol orally to effectively prevent postpartum hemorrhage.”
Breast cancer, lung cancer, skin cancer and colorectal cancer are the top cancers killing women, according to the Mayo Clinic. Fake cancer drugs have been found in three separate incidents in the U.S. in the past two years. More than 50 cancer clinics have been warned about purchasing fake cancer drugs by the FDA just this year alone.
Osteoporosis is treated with risedronate. A fake Canadian online pharmacy sent US customers seeking to treat osteoporosis counterfeit risedronate tablets instead of the real medication. FDA agents intercepted and tested purchases, finding them to “not contain the proper amount of active ingredients.”
Not only did consumers get counterfeit medications, they also have been extorted by fake FDA agents, who demanded “fines” of $1,300 to $100,000 to be sent to the Dominican Republic via Western Union.
Heart disease is the top killer of women. Medications to prevent heart disease like smoking cessation aids, weight loss medication, and statins have all been purchased in counterfeit form online. Some fakes contained dangerous substitute ingredients that masked symptoms with the possibility of life-threatening side effects including stroke.
Buying medication from random strangers online is a great way to get a dangerous counterfeit containing controlled substances like Sibutramine, which can cause high-blood pressure, seizures, tachycardia, palpitations, heart attack or stroke.