Spain police seize fake medicine from Asia, detain 13

Spanish police said Tuesday they have detained 13 people suspected of selling large quantities of fake medication, including erectile dysfunction drugs and antibiotics, made in Asia over the Internet.

The authorities seized nearly 420,000 fake pills during a search of 136 packages found in airmail and luggage in Spanish airports, police said in a statement.

The fake medication included contraceptives, weight loss pills, vitamins, steroids, and Viagra, the statement added.

The vast majority of the pills were made in China and India, but police also seized counterfeit medication from Malaysia, Colombia, Paraguay and the United States.

Police gave no estimate for the value of the pills.

"The main goal of the operation is to raise public awareness of the risks that buying medicine from irregular sources entails," police said in the statement.

Spanish gave international law enforcement agency Interpol the web addresses of 113 Internet sites that illegally distributed medicine.

According to the European Alliance for Access to Safe Medicines, 62 percent of drugs bought on the Internet in 2011 were fake.

The Center for Medicine in the Public Interest, a US non-profit research group, estimates the traffic in fake medicine generated 55 billion euros ($75 billion) globally in 2010, up 90 percent from 2005.

In Europe, meanwhile, a study conducted by pharmaceutical giant Pfizer in 2010 showed that the market for was worth around 10.5 billion euros.

add to favorites email to friend print save as pdf

Related Stories

Internet led to global 'explosion' of fake drugs

Jun 14, 2012

The rapid growth of Internet commerce has led to an explosion of counterfeit drugs sold around the world, with China the biggest source of fake medicines, pharmaceutical experts said Thursday.

Recommended for you

Ebola vaccine not before late 2016: GSK researcher

Oct 17, 2014

An Ebola vaccine by British pharmaceuticals giant GlaxoSmithKline may not be ready for commercial use until late 2016 and should therefore not be seen as the "primary answer" to the current outbreak, a company researcher ...

Chimerix gets FDA OK to test drug for Ebola

Oct 17, 2014

(AP)—A North Carolina drugmaker plans to test its experimental antiviral drug in patients who have Ebola, after getting authorization from regulators at the Food and Drug Administration.

Esbriet, ofev approved to treat deadly lung disease

Oct 16, 2014

(HealthDay)—Two new drugs have been approved by the U.S. Food and Drug Administration to treat progressive lung scarring from an uncertain cause, medically called idiopathic pulmonary fibrosis (IPF).

FDA weighs removing bolded warning from Chantix

Oct 14, 2014

(AP)—The Food and Drug Administration will ask a panel of experts later this week whether a bold-letter warning on the anti-smoking drug Chantix should be removed based on company-supported evidence that the drug does not ...

Drug-coated balloon catheter approved

Oct 13, 2014

(HealthDay)—The first drug-coated balloon catheter designed to clear narrowed or blocked arteries in the thigh and knee has been approved by the U.S. Food and Drug Administration.

User comments