Problems of false medicines' distribution and prospects of combat: survey of specialists and consumers results
Keywords:falsification, medicines, questionnaires, expert evaluation, efficiency, experts, pharmaceutical specialists, doctors, consumers
The aim: comparative analysis of the results of a questionnaire survey of pharmaceutical and medical professionals and consumers, conducted by the authors during 2019-2021 to identify opinions on which there are coincidences and differences, as well as an assessment of the problem of drug counterfeiting in Ukraine to develop approaches to prevent their spread.
Materials and methods. The study used scientific publications, as well as the results of a survey of specialists of the State Service of Ukraine for Medicines and Drug Control (State Medical Service) and its territorial bodies, pharmaceutical and medical professionals of health care institutions and consumers on the fight against drug falsification. The research was conducted using the methods of questionnaires, systematization and generalization.
Results. According to the results of a comprehensive questionnaire during 2019-2021, it was found that the share of CM in the Ukrainian pharmaceutical market is estimated at 5 % by a majority of respondents on average 58.5 %, including 59.7 % of experts of the State Medical Service, 42.3 % of pharmacy specialists, 11.4 % by doctors and 73.5 % by consumers. Respondents' answers about the signs of drug falsification differ significantly, so most experts believe that this is a change in the usual signs (taste, smell, color), while pharmacy specialists - labelling in a foreign language, doctors - no therapeutic effect, for consumers it is a change in packaging design (labels) and a significantly lower price. The main sales channels of CM for experts and pharmacy specialists are e-commerce (68.7 % and 75.7 %, respectively), while the majority of consumers could not determine.
Many experts and pharmacy specialists pointed to the need to introduce special security features of packaging in the form of 2d barcodes as the main method for protection and detection of CM (79.1 % and 39.6 %, respectively). Most of the surveyed pharmacy workers and consumers believe that the risk of purchasing counterfeit drugs is higher in the pharmacies of individual entrepreneurs or small pharmacy chains.The main problem that hinders the effective fight against drug counterfeiting was the imperfect legislation (68.7 %). Regarding effective tools in the fight against counterfeit drugs, experts called a significant strengthening of the powers of the regulatory body - following the example of the FDA (70.1 %).
Conclusions. It is established that the most important priorities of the state policy for combating CM in Ukraine are the improvement of the system of state control and quality assurance of medicines, in particular 2d coding, as well as the need to strengthen the responsibility for drug falsification. The results of research on the problem of drug falsification indicate the feasibility of introducing a systematic survey for a wider range of respondents - professionals and consumers
Schneider, M., Ho Tu Nam, N. (2020). Africa and counterfeit pharmaceuticals in the times of COVID-19. Journal of Intellectual Property Law & Practice, 15 (6), 417–418. doi: http://doi.org/10.1093/jiplp/jpaa073
Counterfeit drugs 2021: Statistics and Facts on how Blockchain can fight the pandemic? (2021). Available at: https://vaultsecurity.io/counterfeit-drugs-2021
A study on the public health and socioeconomic impact of substandard and falsified medical products (2017). WHO. Available at: https://www.who.int/medicines/regulation/ssffc/publications/SE-Study_EN_web.pdf?ua=1
Ciapponi, A., Donato, M., Gülmezoglu, A. M., Alconada, T., Bardach, A. (2021). Mobile apps for detecting falsified and substandard drugs: A systematic review. PLOS ONE, 16 (2), e0246061. doi: http://doi.org/10.1371/journal.pone.0246061
Chitre, M., Sapkal, S., Adhikari, A., Mulla, S. (2019). Monitoring Counterfeit Drugs using CounterChain. 2019 International Conference on Advances in Computing, Communication and Control (ICAC3). doi: http://doi.org/10.1109/icac347590.2019.9036794
Felicity, T. (2021). Securing Each Dose: Reducing Falsification Risk with Dosage Level Authentication. Pharmaceutical Technology, 2, 29–31.
May, C. (2019). Counterfeit medicines – fake drugs and falsified medicines – are endangering lives. Available at: https://www.pharmout.net/counterfeit-medications-global-statistics/
Alfadl, A., Ibrahim, M., Maraghi, F., Mohammad, K. (2016). An examination of income effect on consumers’ ethical evaluation of counterfeit drugs buying behaviour: a cross-sectional study in Qatar and Sudan. Journal of Clinical and Diagnostic Research, 10 (9), IC01–IC04. doi: http://doi.org/10.7860/jcdr/2016/19526.8410
Funestrand, H., Liu, R., Lundin, S., Troein, M. (2019). Substandard and falsified medical products are a global public health threat. A pilot survey of awareness among physicians in Sweden. Journal of Public Health, 41 (1), e95–e102. doi: http://doi.org/10.1093/pubmed/fdy092
Tulegenova, A. R., Dilbarhanova, J. R., Sokurenko, I. A. (2018). Analysis of the results of pollution of pharmaceutical workers on the problem of falsification of pharmaceutical drugs and their illegal turnover on the pharmaceutical market of the Republic of Kazakhstan. Management, economics and quality assurance in pharmacy 1 (53), 63–71. doi: http://doi.org/10.24959/uekj.18.7
Gutorova, N. (2019). Vidpovidalnist za falsyfikatsiiu likarskykh zasobiv: chy stvorena v Ukraini nalezhna pravova baza? Apteka, 2 (1173). Available at: https://www.apteka.ua/article/485029
Galt, K., Fuji, K., Kaufman, T., Shah, S. (2019). Health Information Technology Use and Patient Safety: Study of Pharmacists in Nebraska. Pharmacy, 7 (1), 7. doi: http://doi.org/10.3390/pharmacy7010007
Cvetanovski, F., Asanova, B., Brezovska, K. (2016). Comparative analysis of EU and USA falsified medicine legislation. Macedonian pharmaceutical bulletin, 62, 681–682. Available at: https://core.ac.uk/download/pdf/80818116.pdf#page=681
Yolanda, R., Jean, C., Casauay, B., Paul I. (2016). Addressing the Barriers to Effective Monitoring, Reporting and Containment of Spurious/ Substandard/ Falsely-labelled/ Falsified/ Counterfeit Medical Products through Sustainable Multi-stakeholder Collaboration and Community/ Consumer-based Interventions. Final Report. Available at: https://www.who.int/medicines/areas/coordination/SSFFC_Report.pdf
Houlton, S. (2018). Tackling the problem of falsified medicines in the UK. Prescriber, 29 (7), 33–35. doi: http://doi.org/10.1002/psb.1690
Laín Abril, J., Holt, D. W. (2016). Falsified Medicines in the European Union and North America: What are we doing to Protect Public Health? Journal of Pharmacovigilance, 4 (3). doi: http://doi.org/10.4172/2329-6887.1000213
Cuomo, R. E., Mackey, T. K. (2014). An exploration of counterfeit medicine surveillance strategies guided by geospatial analysis: lessons learned from counterfeit Avastin detection in the US drug supply chain. BMJ Open, 4 (12), e006657. doi: http://doi.org/10.1136/bmjopen-2014-006657
Counterfeit medicine in America 9th Annual Drug Abuse Symposium (2018). Available at: https://www.in.gov/bitterpill/files/Safdar-Counterfeit-IN-AG-Opioid-Summit-2018-10-29-FINAL.pdf
Counterfeit medications a growing problem in Canada, warns new report (2018). Available at: https://www.ctvnews.ca/health/counterfeit-medications-a-growing-problem-in-canada-warns-new-report-1.3795239
Hensey, C. C., Gwee, A. (2016). Counterfeit drugs: an Australian perspective. Medical Journal of Australia, 204 (9), 344–344. doi: http://doi.org/10.5694/mja16.00105
Sur, S. (2021). Stvorennia, rozvytok i zanepad systemy borotby z falsyfikatsiieiu likarskykh zasobiv v Ukraini. Apteka, 3 (1274). Available at: https://www.apteka.ua/article/581247
How to Cite
Copyright (c) 2021 Serhii Lebed, Alla Nemchenko
This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 International License.
Our journal abides by the Creative Commons CC BY copyright rights and permissions for open access journals.
Authors, who are published in this journal, agree to the following conditions:
1. The authors reserve the right to authorship of the work and pass the first publication right of this work to the journal under the terms of a Creative Commons CC BY, which allows others to freely distribute the published research with the obligatory reference to the authors of the original work and the first publication of the work in this journal.
2. The authors have the right to conclude separate supplement agreements that relate to non-exclusive work distribution in the form in which it has been published by the journal (for example, to upload the work to the online storage of the journal or publish it as part of a monograph), provided that the reference to the first publication of the work in this journal is included.