By Austin Eromosele
There’s nothing to quantify the catastrophic effects or dangers that one can encounter through the use of fake drugs. Fake drugs have caused a whole lots of problems, has disabled many, rendered some useless to themselves and their society while others who couldn’t simply tell their gory tale have simply gone beyond.
The most commonly counterfeited drugs in Nigeria are anti-malarias, pain killers and antibiotics. World Health Organisation study in 2008 put the frequency of fake anti-malarias in sub-Saharan Africa at 64 percent. This greatly undermines the roll back malaria programme.
Fake drugs can kill either directly through their harmful ingredients or indirectly by giving a false promise that a life threatening illness is being treated when it’s not.
Though it’s not always easy to tell fake drugs from genuine ones below are steps to take to protect yourself, family, friends and neighbours from buying fake drugs and swallowing same which can invariably harm your health.
- Buy only from registered pharmacies; never from the road side, motor parks or public transport.
- Watch the price; if the price is too good to be true, it probably is a fake drug.
- Also notice the packaging of the product, if the packaging appears doubtful or looks tempered with, has unusual fonts, spelling errors, do not buy. If the batch number on the carton is different from that on the foil of the blister pack, do not buy.
- Always check if there’s NAFDAC number printed boldly on the pack or if it appears to be tampered with, do not buy.
- You can also check the Pill itself, if it has a strange colour, shape or smell different from that which you are used to and if you have been taking the drug before, do not use.
- Verification codes; for drugs that have sms verification codes, if you don’t receive a response confirming genuineness of the product, do not use.
- Side effects; if you experience any unusual side effects stop using immediately and consult your doctor or pharmacist.
Drugs are poisons, more so fake drugs and great care must be taken to avoid fake ones.