Posted on Leave a comment

How To Recognize Fake Drugs

Many years ago, I saw a bottle of Ampiclox suspension by Beecham, that contained baby food that had ampiclox powder sprinkled around the bottle. May God bless the soul of Prof Dora Akunyili who fought the battle of fake drugs, without regards to her life.

Unfortunately, 12 years after her tenure, the dilemma of fake drugs is getting strong again. A fake or adulterated product can be a product that contains a different active ingredient(s) than it claims to contain, contains lower than normal quantity of the active ingredient, contains the right active ingredient but is being sold using the name of a different popular brand or  has an altered expiry date. The Nigerian pharmaceutical market is replete with these types of product and unfortunately for consumers, if you don’t know, you may never know.

Nafdac started the use of scratch cards to verify original brands but it’s depressing to know that even fake products now have scratch cards that tell you the fake product is original. So what can you do as a consumer?

1. Always buy your drugs from a reputable source. The suppliers of fake products consider the standard of a pharmacy/shop before having the morale to supply such products.

2. Look carefully at the lot no, manufacturing and expiry date before buying. Most malpractice will center around there.

a. Check to confirm the date on the drug packet is the same as that on the card. Get suspicious if they aren’t the same. 

b. Don’t buy if you don’t see any date at all on the card

c. Check if there’s variance between the lot/batch no on the packet vis a vis the date on both packet and card. For example, packet may bear lot no 1asdf and expiry date, 12/08/22 but in the card you may see lot no, 1asdf and expiry date 12/08/20.

d. Look well to be sure all the characters of the date are similar. If you see one that looks altered, it’s probably altered.

e. As a pharmacist, before purchasing, look to be sure all products bear a common lot no and date. A particular batch/lot must have the same date. If they have varying dates, there’s malpractice somewhere.

f. Different categories of drugs have a particular shelve(active) life. Multivitamins may be around 1-2 years, while some antibiotics may be around 2-3 years. Be suspicious if it’s unnecessarily longer than normal.

3. Quality of the packet. One that is not deeply and actively involved in purchases will never be able to spot a fake product. Sometimes, the quality of the fake is so sophisticated that you may choose the fake when placed with the original e.g. fake ampicillin/cloxacillin caps of a popular brand. However, no matter how sophisticated it may be, there’s always subtle differences that may come as a result of colour difference, character of expiry date, an omitted detail etc. 

4. Price. If it’s cheaper than normal, it may be fake. Be careful when buying drugs that seem to be a lot cheaper.

5. Popular, fast moving or expensive brands. Be more cautious when buying these types of products as they are more prone to faking. 

6. Insist on seeing the expiry date on any counting medication. Some unprofessional people count products that is expired or transfer products on sachets to a container to be counted from.

Like I said earlier, if you don’t routinely handle products, you may not notice fake products easily. The better thing to do is to purchase your medicines from reputable pharmacies. I pity people that enter inside the market to buy medicine, and that’s not saying all of the traders there are bad. 

Pharmplug has made it easy for you to order or refill your prescription easily and conveniently at the comfort of your home or office. Our platform aggregates hundreds of retail and wholesale pharmacies around town, thus we ensure the availability and accessibility of your quality meds, at better prices for you.
 
…Be health smart: save time, energy and money.
 
Spot the fake cataflam…
 
Posted on Leave a comment

Using Pharmplug for shopping for Drugs

Purchase, Delivery and Return Policy

To serve you best, please note the following policies:

  • Products purchased from our online platform will get to the owner within 2 hours, inside Enugu town and within 24 hours outside Enugu city but inside Enugu state. For emphasis, Enugu town includes: Asata, Ogui rd, Okpara ave, Newhaven, Independence layout 1, coal camp, New market, GRA, Achara layout, Transekulu and Golf. Orders outside Enugu state will be delivered within 48 hours depending on distance and courier company. 
  • Delivery within Enugu town attracts a N500-700 charge, inside Enugu town only. Purchases above N20,000 will be delivered free of charge
  • Controlled drugs cannot be purchased from the platform without a proper and verified prescription from a doctor
  • We do not accept any cash payment. All payments must be made online or via POS on delivery.
  • Kindly be precise when selecting your products and quantity. In a case of wrong selection after payment, please read the section of our policy on returning products after purchase.
  • Our online consultation is designed to help you discover, understand and treat/manage your health condition. Please feel free to consult the pharmacist or our doctors to get a prescription for some health issues.   
  • Products received and signed off in good condition may not be accepted back for a refund especially if it’s a cold chain drug, it’s destroyed in any way, or is presented beyond 24 hours after purchase. Products purchased, after proper examination and assessment of storage, can be accepted back on compassionate grounds, for example, the death of a patient.
  • Delivery costs are non-refundable. In the event of a refund, the delivery costs will be deducted from the refund value.
  • If you can’t find your desired product on the pharmacy floor, please send the name of the medication to customerservices@pharmplug.com, and we shall source it within 48hours. In the case of refund, if the product can’t be sourced within 48 hours, money will be refunded.    

Steps in the Purchase process

Step 1: log onto the system. Enter our pharmacy floor by opening our website or our Pharmplug mobile app.

Step 2: Fill your Prescription. If you have a prescription or a list of items to purchase, kindly search by category or by typing the name of the product on the search bar. Then, select the product and quantity and add to your shopping cart. Kindly go through the description of your chosen product to be sure it conforms to your needs and that you don’t react to any of it’s ingredients. If you don’t have a prescription, kindly ‘Ask Pharm Josy’ to direct you on what to purchase.

Step 3: Check out and pay. After selecting your chosen products and quantities, kindly check out and proceed to payment. There are various payment plans: you may decide to pay online or pay on delivery via POS. 

Step 4: Receive product from dispatch. Our delivery man will call you on arrival at your location. 

Step 5: Examine products. Prudently examine your products to ensure they meet your specification and are of good packaging and quality. Kindly reject if the product is not what you ordered for or is damaged.

Step 6: Refund or replacement. In the event a product is rejected, your refund or replacement will be processed immediately. You will kindly indicate the reason for any rejection. Money paid will be transferred back to the account number you provide.