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The Latest Scam To Steal Your Money: Fake Drugs

We've all heard of scams involving first-run movies hitting the big screens in America only days before you can buy bootleg DVDs of them online or the knockoffs of Rolex watches people buy from the back of a truck. The World Health Organization (WHO) estimates the trade in selling fake prescription drugs has grown to some $30 billion worldwide.

Even worse, countries like Great Britain and the United States aren't immune to such schemes (although the problem is far more acute in parts of Asia and Africa). In fact, last week British officials seized fake Lipitor that turned up on pharmacy shelves and closed down a factory in north London late last year that was producing a half-million fake Valium, Viagra and steroid pills every day.

Stateside, the FDA conducted 58 counterfeit medicine investigations in 2004, almost 10 times the total from 2000 (six). Although lifestyle drugs make up most sales of fake drugs here and in the U.K., domestic probes have uncovered bogus versions of more sophisticated medicines, given to AIDS and cancer patients. Many of these fake drugs are distributed over the Internet exposing people all over the world to treatments that could harm them just as badly as the real thing.

And, because it's very lucrative, some crooks prefer to sell fake drugs rather than narcotics. Sixty percent of the cases happen in developing countries with anti-malarials, antibiotics and AIDS drugs targeted.

Thankfully, you have a free resource in my Web site that stay on top of the latest drug fiascos, whether they're real drugs or fake ones. If you're not a subscriber to my free eHealthy News You Can Use newsletter, what are you waiting for?

Yahoo News August 2, 2005

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