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Thursday, July 10, 2014

Indonesian pharma counterfeits


The Ministry of Heath’s Food and Drug Monitoring Agency (BPOM) has undertaken a study of internet sales of drugs, traditional medicines, health supplements, and cosmetics. They found 302 websites selling fake items. The websites led to 58 businesses selling fake goods in Jakarta and 14 other cities.  Apparently they have seized some 1.3 million pills, traditional medicines, health supplements, foods and cosmetics and through the Ministry of Communications closed down 287 websites selling the fakes. The drugs included not only lifestyle products but cancer and heart disease drugs. BPOM say that the most commonly counterfeited drugs are antibiotics, analgesics, antihistamines, hormones and steroids, both patented and generic. BPOM has been conducting a campaign in 2014 called Operation Pangea to target fake health related products.

BPOM regularly announce such programs and cite wonderful data. However filing an actual complaint with them for action is harder than this would suggest. Their press releases are an excellent summary of the state of the market. However since counterfeiting cases almost never proceed through the (now almost completely non functioning) criminal prosecution system, presumably the vendors are back in business.

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