- Special Sections
- Public Notices
Eighty percent of Viagra (sildenafil) purchased from websites was found to be counterfeit, according to a study by Dr. Irwin Goldstein, professor of surgery at the University of California at San Diego.
His study was presented at the American Urological Association’s annual meeting in Atlanta. Goldstein’s survey, quoted in the June issue of Urology Times, looked at Viagra bought from 22 websites over a four-day period in March 2011. It found costs varied from as little as $3.28 to $33.
None of the websites required a prescription for the drug. The postal origin of the pills included Hong Kong, the U.S., Canada, China and India.
While Viagra is still under patent and there is no generic equivalent for erectile dysfunction, it is advertised as such all over the Internet, according to Dr. Goldstein.
Dr. Goldstein found that many of these fake pills were packaged and made to look exactly like the real ones, contained harmful and sometimes even life-threatening agents such as boric acid, paint, insecticides, gypsum and rat poison!
The drugs had been compounded in unhygienic conditions, sometimes in construction sites using concrete mixers that churned plaster by day and counterfeit drugs by night!
While 80 percent of the pills that were bought were counterfeit, on spectral analysis, the active ingredients in the pills were only 30 percent to 50 percent of that claimed on the packaging.
It is not just Viagra that is counterfeited but many drugs and dietary supplements that are sold online also suffer the same fate. Buying fake drugs online can pose additional problems to patients, such as exposure of personal details such as credit cards, details, email and telephone numbers to criminals.
Patients looking to purchase medicines, dietary supplements and food ingredients should look for the verification by the FDA approved USP (US Pharmacopeia) and NF (National Formulary).
According to the USP, counterfeit or substandard drugs accounted for a $75 billion market worldwide.
Purchase of medicines and supplements over the Internet exposes customers to increased threat of counterfeit and substandard drugs as well as loss of personal data to criminals.
Let the buyer beware!
Udaya Kumar. M.D., FRCS Urol, Dip. Urol (London), is certified by the American Board of Urology and the Board of Urology of U.K. and Ireland. He is a former professor of urology with University of Arkansas for Medical Sciences. Contact him at 3475 S. Suncoast Blvd., Homosassa, FL 34448 or 352-628-7671.