It is imperative that if we are suffering from any illnesses or ailments that we get the correct medication. Counterfeit medicines are a growing problem in many countries and are unfortunately readily available over the internet. As well as being a criminal offence to fraudulently carry the name of a registered brand, fake medicines also pose a severe health risk for their users.
What exactly are fake medicines?
A fake medicine is one that has been deliberately altered to appear similar to another, already existing product. Counterfeit medicines may include legitimate ingredients but incorrect packaging or include insufficient active ingredients.
Product liability implications of fake medicines
Genuine manufacturers may be faced with legal claims arising under the Consumer Protection Act 1987, which imposes strict liability upon the manufacturers of any defective products and gives rise to product liability claims.
If a manufacturer has been served with a claim under the Consumer Protection Act 1987 where it was not in fact the producer of the goods in question, it must be able to prove this. This may involve the manufacturer making comparisons between the counterfeit product and their own to demonstrate where deviations occur, and thus not the original product of the manufacturer. This has been made extremely difficult in the modern age, where the internet opens up a wide market for purchasing counterfeit medicines with extremely close replicas available online.
Fighting and managing such claims is a costly distraction for any pharmaceutical manufacturer, even in the event that a company is able to successfully avoid liability.
Why do people purchase fake medicine?
In some countries, fake medicine is often produced and sold at a much lower cost than the genuine brand and thus it is financially attractive to buy counterfeit medicine, even where a danger exists. In the UK, the incentive to buy fake medicine may come from a refusal of prescription by a doctor, and a patient takes steps to purchase medication which has not been recommended for them.
If you’ve suffered an accident as the result of taking fake medicine, perhaps without your knowledge, and it happened within the last 3 years, then you may be entitled to make a claim for compensation. Accident Advice Helpline has over 13 years’ experience in providing friendly, professional and helpful advice in all areas of personal injury claims. Call us today for more information.
Date Published: January 9, 2014
Author: David Brown