Financial Consequences of Counterfeit Pharmaceuticals
In addition to potential adverse health consequences, counterfeit pharmaceuticals also carry a substantial financial burden. It is estimated that counterfeit drug sales will increase 13% annually through 2010 -- nearly double the growth rate for legitimate medications.
On an individual basis, counterfeit medications, particularly those purchased from unlicensed Internet pharmacies, carry an increased price for the drug itself, loss of money if medications are never delivered, and the potential cost of healthcare that may be required if the medication contains contaminants or other substances that cause illness. Furthermore, there is an increased risk of identity theft and loss of privacy when purchasing from unscrupulous pharmacies. Indeed, the investigation of Internet pharmacies conducted by Eysenbach found that sildenafil purchased on the Internet was on average twice as expensive as in regular pharmacies, and upwards of 20% of pharmacies in their investigation charged credit cards for medications that were never delivered.
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