Roger Bate: The hidden danger of fake and substandard medicines

Counterfeit or poorly made medicines probably kill more than 100,000 patients every year – disproportionately affecting the poor, particularly in Africa. But bad drugs are not confined to the developing world: in 2008, 149 Americans died from contaminated counterfeit heparin, a blood thinning medicine. And the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) announced on February 14th that 19 medical practices had bought counterfeit Avastin, an important cancer drug. So far no adverse reactions have been reported.

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