Widespread access to internet chat boards, paste sites, and classifieds has impacted the distribution of counterfeit pharmaceuticals. According to the World Health Organization (WHO) article, “Medicines: counterfeit medicines,” falsified medical products are manufactured in regions and countries all over the world. This fact is supported by the abundance of content advertising counterfeit pharmaceuticals on the web.
WHO launched a global surveillance and monitoring system in 2013 to encourage reporting of counterfeit drugs to help develop a more accurate and validated assessment of the scope, scale and harm caused by this issue. In that year alone, over 920 medical products had been reported representing all categories of medical therapies.
“The availability of tableting machines, ovens, specialist equipment, ingredients and packaging materials, [has made] clandestine manufacturing facilities quick and easy to assemble,” the report states. Furthermore, the profusion of “underground” websites makes distribution of counterfeit medications not only more accessible, but often harder to find.