To investigate the situation, Reuters interviewed a number of drug makers and distributors, pharmaceutical security experts, and regulators. The investigation detected included a lack of a tracking system to determine when drugs change hands, loose regulations, and a willingness on the part of legitimate distributors and medical offices to ignore medicines that appear to come from possibly fraudulent sources.
And, according to the World Health Organization (WHO), a little under a percent of drugs available in developed countries are probably fake; internationally, the figure is about 10 percent, according to Reuters, although in some developing countries it is believed that about one-third are estimated to be bogus.
Currently there is not a national system in place to track drugs in the U.S., although California does have a law coming into effect in 2015 that will mandate drug serial numbering. And, starting in 2016, Europe will be mandating a unique identifier on medicine packaging, stated Reuters.
The U.S. Food and Drug Administration and U.S. legislators have asked for universal tracking systems, stated Reuters.