October 27, 2009
"Counterfeit pharmaceuticals are widespread in Southeast Asia, sold for cheap on the street or in rural mom-and-pop markets. Though Viagra is one of the most common knock-offs, it's much less worrisome than fake meds to fight malaria, tuberculosis and even HIV. They often contain little or no active ingredient. The result: Sickness, fatalities and a host of drug-resistant viruses," Global Post reports in article examining "pharmo-piracy" in the region. "The scope of counterfeit meds is difficult to gauge. But the World Health Organization has said that, in the worst-affected parts of Southeast Asia, as many as 30 percent of pharmaceuticals are lacking the stated active ingredient" (Winn, 10/23).