WITH the proliferation of counterfeit drugs in the markets, it is important for consumers to know the difference between genuine and fake medicine to avoid health complications and throwing away hard earned money.

Nemia Getes, officer-in-charge of the Regulation Division 1 of the Bureau of Food and Drugs (BFAD), gives the following reminders:

Look at the packaging. Most counterfeit drugs have labels that are either faded or too bright compared to the genuine. This is because they are not made from the legitimate manufacturing site of pharmaceutical companies.

Check the manufacturing and expiration dates. Genuine drugs always have such information at the bottom of the package, and even on the bottle. Counterfeit drugs do not have these important dates; if they do, they are most likely expired and should be disposed immediately.

If a medicine is branded, check if the packaging also has the generic name printed on it. Counterfeit drugs usually do not indicate the generic name. If a counterfeit drug that comes with a brand name also has a generic name, the font size of the former is relatively larger than the latter.

Do not buy any drug that is unfamiliar to you. Check it with BFAD if it is registered or safe for medication.

Before buying any drug from any drug store, check whether the outlet is registered as a legitimate distributor of medicines.

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