Interpol and pharmaceutical companies are taking action together to face down the problem of counterfeit medicines.
The problem of counterfeit medicines being so readily available is truly international in scale, and in some developing countries as much as 50% of all medicines purchased are counterfeit. Counterfeit products not only lack the active ingredients they need to be effective, some actually contain substances which are positively injurious to human health.
Testing of suspected counterfeit medicines is important in this fight; it can be relatively straightforward to determine the level of active ingredients in a pharmaceutical product, but to determine what else may be present in a fake medicine requires more extensive work.
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