Over 12% of Russian medicines are fake

Over 12% of all Russian medicines are actually fake. As a Rosbalt correspondent reports, this was announced by Deputy Russian Interior Minister Sergei Verievkin-Rakhalsky. He said that 2% of the fake medicines are brought into Russia from other CIS countries, 30% from other countries and the rest are produced within Russia.

According to the Russian Interior Ministry, there were 890 cases of fake medicines over the first nine months of 2003. According to the Russian Health Ministry's department on medicine safety and control, the number of recorded instances of fake medicines is now at least 11 times higher than it was five years ago.

The deputy minister said that medicines in high demand are usually the ones which are fraudulently copied. These include medicines for cardiovascular problems, antibiotics (these account for over 50% of all fake medicines) and hormonal medicines. He said there are three ways of producing fake medicines. The safest way is simply to use a well-known trademark on the box. A more dangerous method is to leave out certain ingredients in the medicine. The most dangerous method, however, is to buy out-of-date medicines abroad cheaply and then resell them in Russia.

According to the international association of pharmaceutical producers, the annual world trade turnover of falsified medicines comes to about USD 15-20 billion. Fake medicines account for about 6% of all the world's medicine.

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