5 Tips on How to Identify Fake Medicines
It is a sad reality today that even regular consumers are unable to distinguish between genuine and counterfeit medications. Worst of all? Even medical professionals can’t tell the difference or verify the authenticity of medicines without a chemical analysis.
A large number of manufacturers have succeeded in replicating almost every physical aspect of the medication in order to make it appear to be the most genuine. Packaging, tablet shape, vial shape and size, and coloration can and have been copied. As a consumer, here are things you can do to ensure the authenticity of your medicines.
1. Verify the seal.
The security seal should not be damaged or tampered with, especially in bottled medicines. Before purchasing, look for a crack or break in the sealing tape. Do not buy it if you suspect it is broken or tampered with.
2. Short Message Service-based Mobile Authentication Service (SMS)
One of the cutting-edge technologies to combat the threat of counterfeit medicines is Mobile Authentication Service (MAS). Thanks to this technology, many mobile phone users can now detect counterfeit medicines.
Drug packages with a scratch card placed in the box at the point of manufacture are referred to as MAS. Shortly thereafter, the sender receives feedback as to whether the drug is genuine or not.
3. Unexpected side effects
The majority of counterfeit drugs contain inert substances other than the appropriate Active Pharmaceutical Ingredient (API). They may also contain incorrect substances, incorrect dosage, or dangerous substances that have no therapeutic effect.
Unusual side effects, allergic reactions, or worsening of a medical condition after taking a medication may be indicators of a counterfeit drug. If any of the above symptoms are observed, the medication should be discontinued.
4. QR codes
Before we get into how QR codes are used in pharmaceutical companies, let’s go over what these codes are. QR codes are 2D barcodes that frequently contain data for a locator, identifier, or tracker that points to a website or application and are created using an online QR code generator. Furthermore, it can transfer a hundred times more data than a traditional barcode because it can store and display information or data both vertically and horizontally.
5. QR codes in the pharmaceutical industry are printed on product packaging to provide authenticity
Here’s a simple step-by-step process on how it works
● The unique QR code is inside the lid of the packaging.
● When the user scans he will be directed to a page to check if the product is original and safe.
● The user scans a unique URL that contains a token that allows us to check if the product is real.
● This is the safest way to avoid counterfeit as this can’t be copied.
If you suspect your medication is fake, don’t take it. Instead, call your doctor and pharmacy to let them know and ask about your next steps.
Reach out to the pharmaceutical manufacturer, as well. They have records of each drug batch they produce. So they will know if yours doesn’t align with their descriptions. Company representatives can also tell you how to dispose of counterfeits correctly. You can also search the Buy Safely site for authorized drug disposal locations.
“It’s possible the company may be able to identify your meds as counterfeit over the phone. It may be a known counterfeit lot number,” Callanan says. “Pharmaceutical companies keep track of complaints and collect data on counterfeits. Sometimes the counterfeit product will have a lot number that is not a real lot number, and if you call in with a product with a certain lot number, they might be able to tell you if your meds are counterfeit.”
Being aware and knowing how to identify fake medicines can keep you and your loved ones safe in the long run.