Role of Generic Medicines on the Proliferation of Counterfeit Medicines

Because of the lack of resources on some developing countries, most people resort to generic medicines which cost less than branded drugs. Moreover, many third world nations have no capacities and capabilities for pharmaceutical manufacturing which forces even authorities to allow generic copies of medicines to penetrate the market. Generic competition is one of the driving factors on the cost and quality reduction in many countries.


As defined by the Peterson Group, non-profit organization campaigning against proliferation of counterfeit medicines, generic medicines are pharmaceutical copies of drugs which are manufactured without license from the innovator companies and marketed after the expiry date of the patented or other exclusive rights. It is public obligation that the government provides affordable and legitimate medicine functions, however, with the incapability to find good resources, many governments fail in this respect.


Generic medicines are not entirely fraudulent per se but are mostly substandard.  Nonetheless, the threat can still be bona fide with what many health professions fear of: circumvention of health regulation, undercutting public confidence, and potentially providing a comparatively easy source of income to criminal elements.