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Home Industry News MSD launches patient safety campaign

MSD launches patient safety campaign

14th November 2005

A new campaign has been launched by MSD in an attempt to educate UK residents about the pitfalls of counterfeit medicines and the dangers of unregulated ‘e-pharmacies’.

With more and more internet sites offering easy access to prescription-only drugs, the chances of counterfeit drugs being obtained are increasing, though the public remains alarmingly unaware.

The campaign involves a new website and telephone helpline so that patients can ask questions and find out more information about counterfeit medicines.

Recent research emphasising this issue shows that just two per cent of consumers believed prescription-only drugs could be counterfeit, even though many more would be wary about buying products such as DVDs or designer handbags.

Furthermore, just one in five people would be able to differentiate between a licensed website and an unregulated website selling medicines.

Dr John Young, medical director at MSD, said: “Counterfeit medicines are a serious issue facing patients, healthcare professionals and the whole pharmaceutical industry.

“As a responsible company, we believe it is essential to educate consumers on the potential risks of counterfeit medicines and to help them identify such products.

“We strongly advise patients against buying prescription-only products from unlicensed websites. To do so represents a serious potential health risk.”

The United States Food and Drug Administration (FDA) believes that counterfeit medicine accounts for more than ten per cent of the global supply chain, a figure which can be as high as 25 per cent in some countries.

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