My first introduction to the world of counterfeit prescription drugs was approximately 2 decades ago, when someone who worked for Pfizer showed me 2 identical-looking Viagra tablets on screen at a drug-training course. The packaging also looked identical. The point was that the difference in the tablets was undetectable without laboratory analysis.
Sometime later, I heard of someone who was ordering Viagra over the Internet for her boss. This was illegal, and the counterfeit version was being purchased for a mere $8 per pill—far less than the normal price for the drug. Apparently, the boss, who was more than capable of paying the retail price, was embarrassed to obtain the prescription from his doctor. He was unknowingly taking a huge risk, because replacement filler materials for the expected active contents of the medication have been found to be everything from drywall to cattle dung. [Read more…]