The Food and Drug Administration (FDA) warned Silliman University
nursing students on the dangers of fake drugs on a lecture last Friday
at Audio Visual Theater 1.
FDA Regulation Officer III Lanette Lee Querubin stressed that the
public cannot easily detect fake drugs.
There is a 10 percent possibility that nurses can administer fake drugs
to their patients.
The lecture, titled as ‘Educational Seminar for Medical, Nursing,
and Pharmacy Students on the Dangers of Counterfeit Medicines,’
the is one of their programs in preventing the spread of ‘counterfeit
drugs’, medicinal products with wrong ingredients, with below 80
percent active ingredient content, and are mislabeled.
“It’s hard to know who produce fake drugs and where these are produced.
Counterfeit medicines have better packaging than the original and true
medicine. They may involve syndicates and fly by night operations,” Querubin said.
Counterfeit drugs can worsen a disease, increase drug resistance, cause
another disease or death.
All drug establishments and outlets that import, distribute, or sell any
unregistered drug product are subjected to sanctions and penalties in
Republic Act (RA) 9711 or the Food and Drug Administration Act of 2009
and RA 8203 or the Special Law on Counterfeit Drugs.
Querubin said that some signs of counterfeit medicines include being
easily crushed, discolored, and having crystals or unusually foul odor.
He added that antibiotics, slimming products, rabies vaccine, and
branded generic over-the-counter drugs are commonly distributed in
“Buy from FDA-licensed drug establishments rather than from street vendors, market places, sari-sari stores, and online [sellers]. Always request for an official receipt,
check labels and drug registration numbers of drug products, and be
alert for different or negative effects than described,” said Querubin.
FDA also warned the students on Internet accessibility as a “direct to
consumer” distribution channel.
“We don’t have a licensed internet pharmacy,” said Querubin.
The other lecturers in the event were Brian Breuhaus, economic
officer of US Embassy Manila, Atty. Allan Gepty, officer-in-charge (OIC) director of Intellectual Property Office and
Jane Annette Belarmino, vice-president for development in the campus.
By Leslie J. Batallones