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

Breakthrough to take the pain out of catheters

12 hours ago

A new pharmaceutical product that could significantly improve quality of life for catheter users all over the world is to be developed by Queen's University Belfast after it won a national award.

FDA warning: men's testosterone drugs overused (Update)

Mar 03, 2015

The Food and Drug Administration is warning doctors against over-prescribing testosterone-boosting drugs for men, saying the popular treatments have not been established as safe or effective for common age-related ...

User comments

Please sign in to add a comment. Registration is free, and takes less than a minute. Read more

Click here to reset your password.
Sign in to get notified via email when new comments are made.