It doesn’t matter if you live in United States, Europe, Asia or Africa —everyone is at risk from unsafe tainted or counterfeit drugs. Anywhere in the world, you can come across medicines seemingly packaged in the right way, in the form of tablets or capsules that look right, but that do not contain the correct ingredients and, in the worst case scenario, may be filled with highly toxic substances.

In some countries, this is a rare occurrence; in others, it is an everyday reality. These counterfeit drugs may be:

  • Too strong or too weak
  • Missing key ingredients
  • Made with dangerous ingredients
  • Contaminated with foreign, even toxic, materials
  • Made in unsanitary or unstertile conditions
  • Created using unsafe standards
  • Improperly labeled, stored or handled
  • Expired (out-of-date)

Counterfeit drugs are an enormous public health threat. The Partnership for Safe Medicines (SafeMedicines.org) has several tools to help you stay up-to-date on what’s happening here in the U.S. and other parts of the world regarding drug safety, including:

News: SafeMedicines.org maintains a comprehensive list of all relevant news stories from around the globe and is great way to see the global dimensions of this problem. Our weekly blog provides regular, expert commentary from Partnership for Safe Medicines’ board members Dr. Bryan Liang, Thomas Kubic, Dr. James Class and Dr. Marv Shepherd.

SafeMeds Weekly Update: Our free weekly email provides readers with a weekly roundup of what’s happening around the world regarding counterfeit drugs, as well as the latest blog entry from the Partnership’s experts. Check out past issues of the update in our email archive.

SafeMeds Email Alert System: As part of the FDA’s Alert Network, we offer this free email service that sends official alerts from the FDA and other government agencies around the world to anyone—private citizens, public groups, corporations, healthcare practitioners, associations—when specific counterfeit drug incidents are detected.