Are Canadian Drugs Safe?

J0402658 It looks like the same drug.  It tastes like the same drug.  How do I know if it is the same drug?

As someone who does not have a strong opinion either way about the safety of drug importation, I was interested to see a new report that evidenced less than effective drugs being imported from Canada presumably because they were counterfeit.  The FDA release on the counterfeit drugs actually lists the drugs and their indication as well as the firms from which they were discovered. 

On its face, it is an alarming find.  One of the pharmacies listed is one that I mentioned in a previous post as a local radio advertiser in the Washington, D.C. area.  However, this news, by itself, only tells part of the story with regard to used out of context to make the argument that importation from Canada is less safe than buying drugs in the U.S.A.  That might not be true.

Consider, for example, the fact that last year, USA Today reported that there were 10 countries that experienced significant drug counterfeiting problems.  In that article, the Pharmaceutical Security Institute noted that there were 10 countries with growing counterfeit problems.  Canada was not among the top 10.  The United States was.

It is important that counterfeiting is found on imported drugs.  But it important too to note that counterfeiting is a growing problem in this country and that the FDA has set up a significant Web page on counterfeit drugs

So just a note, in considering the news reports today, they should be taken into context with the whole picture on counterfeiting.

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