WNPR

Counterfeit Drugs Leave 'Bitter' Taste

May 11, 2018

This hour: the deadly reality of counterfeit drugs. We discuss the history and proliferation of fake pharmaceuticals with Dr. Muhammad Zaman, author of Bitter Pills: The Global War on Counterfeit Drugs, and consider their impact both internationally and at home. 

Also: a new report from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention outlines an alarming trend in the U.S. -- fleas, ticks, and mosquitos are on the rise. But what, exactly, is driving the increase? And what does it mean for public health?

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GUESTS:

READING LIST:

The Conversation: Fake drugs are one reason malaria still kills so many - "Our research on the pharmaceutical industry has revealed that one reason for malaria’s continued virulence in the developing world is ineffective medicine. In fact, in some poor African countries, many malaria drugs are actually expired, substandard or fake."

WSJ: A New Way to Detect Fake Medicines - "Named one of Scientific American’s “world-changing ideas” in 2013, the device is a small, easy-to-use technology that relies on advances in the field of microfluidics, Dr. Zaman says. Molecules are targeted to specific drugs. They bind to the drug, and a fluorescent signal lets the user know what percentage of active ingredient it actually contains. Too low a dose of an active ingredient can lead to drug resistance; too high a dose can be deadly."

CDC: Illnesses from Mosquito, Tick, and Flea Bites Increasing in the U.S. - "Widespread and difficult to control, diseases from mosquito, tick, and flea bites are major causes of sickness and death worldwide. The growing number and spread of these diseases pose an increasing risk in the U.S. The report found that the nation needs to be better prepared to face this public health threat."

Eugene Amatruda contributed to this show.