July 01, 2007

Wake Up Call

I took this picture over a year ago and since then a few of the medications I take have changed. As of now I still take 12 different meds and a calcium supplement. Along with immunosuppressent pills, I take pills for hypertension, high cholesterol, and osteoporosis. I take one injection every few weeks to boost my blood count.
Last week there was a lot of hullabaloo about counterfeit toothpaste and some notice paid to counterfeit drugs coming out of China. The one drug they focused on, Epogen, is a brand of epoetin alfa, which I use. I checked to see if my brand was counterfeited too and indeed it is. The pharmacist can tell, supposedly by lot numbers. Since I haven't had any side effects from the injections from one pharmacy, I'll have to trust them? This last time I didn't get the information sheet with my supply. SCARY! Now there may be some grumblings about what to do about the trade agreement with China and revoke President Bush's fast track privileges, but I want to know what is the government going to do about counterfeit drugs besides making the announcements? I want to see drug bust, random testing and shipped seized; I want more effort than on the war on drugs. I even missed the announcement, I have been remiss in going to the FDA site to check for such. I will have to be more vigilant, but what happens when the outward appearance matches the real thing. This doesn't quite have the same effect as a counterfeit Hermes' handbag. I wont die if I own one.


A. said...

Do you know, that's really brought this counterfeit business home to me, made it more real. I've always dismissed the Hermes handbag situation like you, you won't die from it, but suddenly it comes closer to home. Even the toothpaste one seemed unlikely, with the reported spelling mistakes seeming too obvious to miss.

It doesn't make it easy though (and I don't know if it's the same in the US) when pharmacists in the UK and France often substitute generic alternatives. It makes it very difficult to know exactly what you're getting because they very often look different.

Hathor said...

I have had to look up a generic when another generic was substituted. Most times my pharmacy will give a description, but didn't this time. They do have to put the manufacturer on the label; which I looked up on the net, and found the description of my pill. I don't know if all pharmaceuticals have web sites.
From the college I was going to, the nurse had sent out an alarm about a recall of all drugs from one company. She sent a link to the FDA. I would had thought that someone would have notified me in 2002 since I was having those epoetin injections directly into my dialysis line by the nurse. I guess that there is no certain way the health care professional can notify the patient. The patients are on their own.