Illegal medicine industry grows in Venezuela

medicamentos falsos2The illegal medicine industry is growing in the world as well as in Venezuela, according to the Venezuelan Chamber of Medication (Caveme). In other words, it is a supranational crime this country is not exempt of, said Caveme’s technical affairs director.

Illegality comes in different shapes: it could be expired medicine (expired shelf lives mean inactive compounds), products without registry for entering the country without the corresponding controls, contents repacked in forged packages, deceiving labels regarding the products’ identity or origin, imitations or products adulterated with substances other than the original formulas.

In all cases, these medications are outside the control of the authorities, pharmaceutical companies and registered trademarks. Although there aren’t final numbers, it is calculated that the illegal market occupies 10% of the pharmaceutical industry in Venezuela. According to Caveme, 70 million units of medications commercialized in Venezuela do not comply with some kind of legal parameter.

Also common is the changing of expiration dates on packages by warehouses. There have also been cases of stolen loads of medicine from customs, even after Seniat’s inspections, perpetrators substitute shippers with articles of the same weight so they can’t tell the difference. “This is an act of organized mafia, because many of these crimes occur inside customs warehouses “.

Caveme warned that 68% of the products sold online are false or of shady origin, that is stolen or imported illegally. They also reminded that according to Venezuelan legislation, selling medicine online is not allowed, a rule often overlooked.

98% of drug products sold in stands, gas stations and bakeries are of illicit origin because the industry does not distribute to those channels but only to drug stores, store chains of related products and other establishments as long as they are authorized by the Ministry of Health.

Source: Últimas Noticias


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