About Counterfeit Drugs

Pharmaceutical products that are pirated, counterfeited, or unregistered can be easily found in the Indonesian market, and pose serious health threats to the public. The annual turnover of counterfeit drugs is estimated to be worth 10% of the total market (around US$200M).

With the turbulent economic and political conditions impacting Indonesia, as well as the lack of coordination amongst the authorities, only little efforts have been demonstrated.  The Badan POM (BPOM), the Indonesian regulatory authority, has initiated some actions. The efforts, however, are still inadequate as the prevailing laws and regulations impose only light penalties to the violators, resulting in no deterrence effect. For example, convicted counterfeiters would usually be sentenced to 6 months of imprisonment.  The Indonesian Society for Anti-Counterfeiting (MIAP), the EU, and the Institute for Economic and Social Research at the Faculty of Economics of University of Indonesia (LPEM-UI) in their recent joint study recommended the government to show more commitment to tackling the counterfeit medicines problems.

Inadequate law enforcement and increasing trend of drugs counterfeiting remain major challenges for IPMG. Counterfeit medicines are also an issue for many other countries, and IPMG remains optimistic about the prospects of partnership with the government and concerned agencies to address these problems through transparent and harmonious efforts as well as consultative working relationships.

Definition of Counterfeit Drugs

Minister of Health of Indonesia through MoH Decree No. 1010/2008:

Counterfeit drugs are drugs which are manufactured by unauthorized manufacturer, against the regulatory system or drug manufacturing using similar identity of other drug which has had a marketing authorization”.

World Health Organization (WHO):

“A Medicine which is deliberately and fraudulently mislabeled with respect to identity and/or source.  Counterfeit can apply to both branded and generic products and counterfeit products may include products with correct ingredients or with the wrong ingredients, without active ingredients, with insufficient active ingredients or with fake packaging”

WHO on types of Counterfeit Drugs

Counterfeit drugs can be grouped into five categories:

  • Products without active ingredients;
  • Products with inadequate quantities of active ingredients;
  • Products with incorrect active ingredients;
  • Products produced by copying someone else’s products; and
  • Products with correct quantities of active ingredients but with the wrong name of manufacturer and/or country of manufacture indicated on the label.
Protect Yourself
What is the impact of counterfeit drugs?

Counterfeit drugs pose a serious risk to public safety.  The regular use of substandard of counterfeit drugs leads to therapeutic failure or drug resistance and can lead to death.

How can you protect yourself?

  • Only buy the prescription medicine at the pharmacy
  • Check drug’s name, producer and expiry date
  • The drug should have Registration Number from Badan POM, Indonesia
  • Inform you doctor if there is no change with your illness after taking the drugs

What is IPMG contribution in eradicate counterfeit drugs distribution?

It is an active role as partner to the Indonesian Government to improve the healthcare system, IPMG developed an educative and interactive www.stopobatpalsu.com to create awareness of the danger of counterfeit drugs.



Q: Is buying a product by the internet safe?

A: In the US a survey indicated that up to 80% of the products bought from internet sites are illegal. The major problem with internet purchases is that the source of the product cannot be verified. Even sites that are said to be from reputable countries such as Canada are in reality not at all Canadian. We highly recommend you do not purchase products from the internet. In addition you are violating the laws and regulation of Indonesia and reports have indicated that the Custom office may seize the product or impose extremely high duties to get your shipment through.

Q: The product I purchased looks different?

A: This is certainly an alarm signal and you should verify this. It is also possible that the product you bought previously was fake and now you have purchased the real one.  We highly recommend you report this to the company so that they can investigate and confirm to you if you have real product. Please conserve all packaging elements as well as proof of purchase as this could speed up the answers to your question.

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April 2019

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