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Pharmaceutical Society concerned about sale of fake medicines

Published:Tuesday | June 12, 2018 | 12:45 PM

The Pharmaceutical Society of Jamaica (PSJ) says its concerned about the sale of counterfeit medicines locally.

Recently, the police raised an alarm about a growing black market of fake medicines on the island.

Last month, one of the world's largest pharmaceutical companies, Pfizer, expressed concern that some pharmacies in Jamaica are selling counterfeit versions of its flagship drug Viagra, which is used to treat erection problems.

READ: Cops step in as alarm raised over counterfeit viagra

The association says as a result of the fake medicines it has been advising its members to be cognizant of the registered distributors and manufacturers of medical products approved to conduct business in Jamaica.

“The PSJ continues its drive to combat counterfeits through continuing education and by raising awareness among its membership and other health professional groups and clients,” it said in a statement Tuesday.

The association warnings that counterfeit medicines can be toxic and pharmacists are vital in ensuring the safety of medications used by patients.


Tips to Pharmacists

* Pharmacists are responsible for the integrity of the supply chain, ranging from manufacturer to distributor and, ultimately, to the patient.

* They ensure medications are purchased from known reliable sources, minimise the risk of and exposure to counterfeit medical products.

* They can warn patients about the dangers of purchasing medications over the internet and monitor counterfeit medication alerts – stay informed.

* They inspect all medication packages for faulty seals and labels, which safe guard products.

* They should destroy empty packages/containers to prevent re-use.

* They should report any suspicious counterfeit medications through PharmWatch.

* They should act quickly to change the medicine if it is substandard or counterfeit.

* Always report the suspected counterfeit to the appropriate authorities.

* Reassure the patient on the way forward and reassess therapy consequently.

* Assist in ensuring replacement of any suspect medicines so the patient is not left without treatment.

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