Anvisa experts advise on counterfeit drugs


Source: Jundaí Online, 17/03/2009

The possibility of buying a fake medicine is enough reason to take anyone's sleep. Some mechanisms, however, help to assure the consumer that he is purchasing an original product. One of them is the so-called scratch card, a field on the packaging that, when scraped with a coin, exposes the word quality and the manufacturer's logo. If the inscriptions do not exist, the remedy is counterfeit.

However, this is not the only recommendation of the National Health Surveillance Agency (Anvisa). Medication can be purchased at a trusted pharmacy, with invoice, because you can return and demand the product warranty. The consumer can sue the pharmacy, says the president of the National Council to Combat Piracy (CNCP), Luiz Paulo Barreto. The consumer, when buying a CD, DVD or pirate bag, knows that he is a pirate. The medicine, he doesn't know. If I knew, I wouldn't buy, he says.

Verifying that the pharmacy has the necessary records and a responsible pharmacist is more security for the consumer, says José Luis Miranda Maldonado, technical advisor to the Federal Pharmacy Council (CFF). The person must ask to be seen by the pharmacist. It is capable, for example, of distinguishing between a false and a true remedy. And you can even be punished with the loss of registration if you fail by default.

According to Anvisa, the patient should be aware: if the medicine he is used to stops working, he should immediately seek medical attention. It is also important to observe if characteristics such as color and odor of the medication are altered.

As the newspaper O Dia showed Sunday, seizures of irregular remedies in Brazil increased by 315% from 2005 to 2008. The most serious is that counterfeits have reached pharmacies and, sometimes, hospitals.

Collateral effects

They are antihypertensive, tranquilizers and even cancer drugs like Glivec, which in 2007 had a false batch delivered to hospitals. The newspaper also showed exclusively that drug trafficking gangs are specializing in counterfeiting drugs: in 2007 and 2008, 7% of vehicles seized with illegal drugs had ammunition, weapons and drugs, according to the Ministry of Justice.

According to the newspaper, to deceive patients and avoid complaints, gangs use substances that simulate the side effects of the original drugs.

Items to check in boxes

Presence of expiration date
Product name well printed and legible
Absence of tears, erasures or erased / scraped letters
Name of the pharmacist responsible for manufacturing and registration number with the Regional Pharmacy Council. The registration of the professional must be in the same state in which the factory is installed.
Medication registration number with the Ministry of Health
Lot number printed on the outside of the box must be the same as the one on the bottle or inside carton.

Source: RCJ