Counterfeit drugmakers have found some unlikely allies: free trade zones. Set up by governments to promote trade, these zones have little regulatory oversight, and tariffs are waived. So it's relatively simple for counterfeiters to disguise the source of a drug, or to make and sell tainted products, according to a new investigation by the New York Times.
Recently, a stash of fake drugs was seized in a free trade zone in Dubai; the meds were destined for Americans who believed they were buying drugs from Canada, via an Internet pharmacy. It's a typical case of counterfeiters using one or more free trade zones to avoid detection.
Counterfeiting, of course, is a big threat to Big Pharma, because most of the fake drugs are tainted knockoffs of big-time brand name meds. And for patients, the fakes can be deadly.
- read the article from the New York Times
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