Counterfeit Consequences

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"Are Your Drugs Safe?" [October 15] hopefully will spark national debate on this important topic.

People who purchase counterfeit medications are at risk for a number of dangerous health consequences. Many counterfeits do not contain genuine active ingredients but rather inert substances that do not provide the patient with any treatment benefit. Counterfeit medications may also contain incorrect ingredients, improper dosages, or potentially hazardous ingredients. Counterfeiting occurs less frequently in the United States than in other parts of the world because of Food and Drug Administration regulations and strict enforcement throughout the production and distribution chain. The fda is undertaking major new initiatives to more aggressively protect consumers. Modern technologies and other measures will make it more difficult for counterfeit drugs to be deliberately substituted for safe drugs.

Louis de Holczer


Rego Park, N.Y.