The deadly world of fake medicine

Around 10% of all essential drugs in emerging markets fail basic quality tests, says author Roger Bate.

Story highlights

  • Author says manufacturers and counterfeiters make billions peddling killer products
  • It is impossible to know the exact size of the falsified medicine trade
  • International law is inadequate to combat international fake drug rings, Roger Bate says
Everyone knows about the risks that narcotics pose and the lethal war waged against them. But there are probably far more deaths caused by dangerous therapeutic medicines.
Lazy, cost-cutting manufacturers and criminal counterfeiters make billions of dollars a year peddling products that may kill you, which you might find online or even at your neighborhood pharmacy.
I first came across dangerous drugs while evaluating HIV and malaria projects in Southern Africa eight years ago.