A Survey on Illegal and Counterfeit Medicines for the Treatment of Erectile Dysfunctions in Italy
Article first published online: 21 MAY 2012
© 2012 International Society for Sexual Medicine
The Journal of Sexual Medicine
Volume 9, Issue 8, pages 2130–2137, August 2012
How to Cite
Gaudiano, M. C., Manna, L., Rodomonte, A. L., Bartolomei, M., Bertocchi, P., Gallinella, B., Antoniella, E., Muleri, N., Civitelli, G., Alimonti, S., Romanini, L., Rufini, L. and Valvo, L. (2012), A Survey on Illegal and Counterfeit Medicines for the Treatment of Erectile Dysfunctions in Italy. Journal of Sexual Medicine, 9: 2130–2137. doi: 10.1111/j.1743-6109.2012.02770.x
- Issue published online: 1 AUG 2012
- Article first published online: 21 MAY 2012
- PDE5 Inhibitors;
- Illegal Medicine
Introduction. In developed countries the phenomenon of pharmaceutical counterfeiting is steadily increasing through the illegal and the Internet market. Medicines for the treatment of erectile dysfunctions containing phosphodiesterase type 5 inhibitors (PDE5) are especially prone to falsification.
Aims. To obtain evidence of the health risks for patients taking these products and to provide useful information to general practitioners and specialists in sexual medicine.
Methods. First the samples were visually inspected and then analyzed to get information about their identity and quality.
Main Outcome Measures. A survey on the PDE5 medicines analyzed by the Italian official medicines control laboratory between 2005 and 2011 was performed. All the analyzed medicines were gathered from the Italian illegal market (seizures by police forces) or were bought from illegal online pharmacies.
Results. The study revealed that 24% of the analyzed samples were counterfeit and 54% were illegal medicines. In 12% of the cases an intermediate classification (illegal/counterfeit) was assigned. Only 7% of the samples were original. Moreover, the examination of the packaging evidenced potential risks: outer and immediate packaging missing; inconsistency between the carton box and the blister as regards the expiry date and/or the batch number; expiry date or manufacturer's name or country missing.
Conclusions. In 19% of the samples a potential health risk for patients was identified due to either the presence in the sample of more than one undeclared PDE5(s) or an amount of the active ingredient higher than that declared (up to 190% of the maximum dose) or to the presence of potentially dangerous excipients of non-pharmaceutical origin or quality (e.g., gypsum or non-purified talc). Gaudiano MC, Manna L, Rodomonte AL, Bartolomei M, Bertocchi P, Gallinella B, Antoniella E, Muleri N, Civitelli G, Alimonti S, Romanini L, Rufini L, and Valvo L. A survey on illegal and counterfeit medicines for the treatment of erectile dysfunctions in Italy. J Sex Med 2012;9:2130–2137.