Take the United States out of the mix and the Asian nations of China, India, Pakistan and Japan were the four countries in the world with the most counterfeit drugs in 2013. That means, according to an expert, that the continent's residents are at a greater risk of getting a fake drug than on any other.
Thomas Kubic, president and CEO of the Pharmaceutical Security Institute, said those countries and the United States, which was second to China, comprise the five nations most vulnerable to counterfeit drugs. Kubic calls the counterfeit practice in medicines "medicrimes" that come in two forms, a true drug repackaged for another use and worthless placebos palmed off as genuine drugs.
Nearly half of the counterfeit incidents occur in the Asia-Pacific region, Kubic said in an interview with Nikkei during the 4th Asia Partnership Conference of Pharmaceutical Associations in Tokyo.
Kubic said his PSI probed 11,700 incidents last year and counted 2,200 of them on the list for the first time.
The PSI website lists counterfeit drug incidents as 970 in Asia, more than double second-place Europe, followed by Latin America, North America, Eurasia, Africa and the Near East, the last with 162.
The site also lists metabolic drugs as the most often discovered counterfeit drug in 2013, more than double second-place anti-infectives.