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Pills that Kills
Global presence of counterfeit medicine.

This slow death starts with kidney failure, followed by no response of the central nervous system and (if you are lucky!) then severe paralysis with breathing difficulty. These slow painful death symptoms are not a result of consumption of any poison but contrarily after consumption of medicinal syrup. This poisonous medicine is available in almost all countries across the globe in the form of most common over the counter drugs like cough syrup, pills, and injectable liquids. Researches reveal that these toxic syrups have killed thousands of people and most of these drugs are ‘made in China’. In 2006, in Panama government officials reportedly mixed a poisonous ingredients (diethylene glycol) in cold medicine which led to deaths of around 365 people and these medicine had ingredients that were ‘made in China’. In 1992 this toxic medicine was found in seven different brands of fever medicine in Bangladesh killing thousands of children. In 1995, in Niger, more than 2500 people died after being vaccinated with fake vaccines and 30 infants died in India in 1998 due to the consumption of counterfeit Paracetamol syrup. To add to the misery of humanity, more than 30% of medicines available in developing countries can be counterfeit, while 50% of medicines purchased via internet are reported to be fake.

The NY Times investigation revealed that toxic medicine is traded across the world via a poison pipeline from the port of Colón, to companies in Barcelona, Spain, & Beijing, and finally to the source country - near the Yangtze Delta (known as the Chemical Country). The fake purity labels on the medicine bottles are repeatedly altered to morph the manufacturing details. As per The Centre for Medicines in the Public Interest calculations, counterfeit drug sales will touch the staggering figure of $75 billion globally by 2010. It seems that this whole racket of fake drugs is not a recent phenomenon but decade old practice. It is high time that countries like China reframe their regulation laws in order to reduce contamination of global medicinal market… at least for humanity…

Sray Agarwal

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