Problems of false medicines' distribution and prospects of combat: survey of specialists and consumers results

Authors

DOI:

https://doi.org/10.15587/2519-4852.2021.243240

Keywords:

falsification, medicines, questionnaires, expert evaluation, efficiency, experts, pharmaceutical specialists, doctors, consumers

Abstract

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

Author Biographies

Serhii Lebed, National University of Pharmacy; State Service for Medicines and Drug Control in the Rivne region

Postgraduate Student

Department of Organization and Economics of Pharmacy

Head of Service

Alla Nemchenko, National University of Pharmacy

Head of Department Department of Organization and Economics of Pharmacy

References

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

Published

2021-10-29

How to Cite

Lebed, S., & Nemchenko, A. (2021). Problems of false medicines’ distribution and prospects of combat: survey of specialists and consumers results. ScienceRise: Pharmaceutical Science, (5(33), 49–56. https://doi.org/10.15587/2519-4852.2021.243240

Issue

Section

Pharmaceutical Science