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Phake: The Deadly World of Falsified and Substandard Medicines Hardcover – May 1, 2012

1 customer review
ISBN-13: 978-0844772325 ISBN-10: 0844772321 Edition: 1st

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Editorial Reviews


This impeccably researched, well-organized book fully addresses the underworld of pharmaceutical counterfeiting and the longitudinal effects of this unsavory commerce. . . .Starting with the dark history of drug safety that had roots in the US, the book makes an impressive case regarding the difficulty/impossibility of tracking and prosecuting drug forgers, and the author provides a reasonable approach for ensuring safety for US products. He addresses the most problematic issues by country, including the intricacies of how each nation polices or ignores drug forgery. Well-designed charts/graphs assist readers to understand the volumes of data Bate has amassed during his travels. Numerous pictures clearly illustrate the difficulty of identifying fake drugs, both for health professionals and consumers. Bate's writing style is scientific and logical, but highly accessible to curious readers. He offers an honest critique of the pharmaceutical business, sharing his extraordinary insight and analysis of current drug counterfeiting issues and spot-on speculation of what the future holds for this problem. Summing Up: Highly recommended. Upper-division undergraduates and above; general readers. (CHOICE)

Economist Bate (fellow, American Enterprise Inst.) here expands on his brief 2008 book, Making a Killing: The Deadly Implications of the Counterfeit Drug Trade. For this work, he traveled the world, investigating drugs that were less potent than they should have been (and therefore less likely to be effective), adulterated with agents ranging from talc to toxins, made available for purchase past their expiration date, and—the major focus—falsified, intentionally mislabeled, or counterfeit and intended to mislead the purchaser (as in the case of Viagra). Bate is attentive to the problem of fake drugs sold over the Internet, and his experiences online as well as his personal connections with government officials highlight his deep interest in and knowledge of the subject. Bate outlines the fake drug situation in Asia, the Middle East, Russia, and Turkey, among other places, but devotes the most attention to the “phake” industry in Nigeria, India, and China. VERDICT No scientific knowledge is necessary to understand and appreciate the problems that Bate addresses. Anyone concerned about the quality of prescription medications will find this book of interest. (Library Journal)

Bate’s work is more than a detailed analysis; it is also a revelatory first-hand account of the counterfeit drug trade (Forbes)

About the Author

Roger Bate is a visiting scholar at the American Enterprise Institute in Washington, D.C.
He has spent years on the trail of stolen counterfeit and substandard medicines in Asia, Africa, and the Middle East, learning the anatomy of the nebulous, far-reaching black market that has caused countless deaths and injuries around the world. He has undertaken field research on fake medicines using handheld spectrometers and laboratory research using basic and sophisticated techniques. He has studied the laws and economics affecting the medicine trade and has published widely in the peer-reviewed scientific, legal and economic literature, including in leading journals such as The Lancet, The Journal of Health Economics, the Journal of International Criminal Justice and the Malaria Journal. He has published nearly one hundred articles on the topic in popular media outlets including the New York Times, the Washington Post and the Wall Street Journal.

Take a look at the author's blog

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Product Details

  • Hardcover: 400 pages
  • Publisher: AEI Press; 1 edition (May 1, 2012)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0844772321
  • ISBN-13: 978-0844772325
  • Product Dimensions: 6.4 x 1.2 x 9.2 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 2.4 pounds
  • Average Customer Review: 1.0 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (1 customer review)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #1,382,133 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

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Most Helpful Customer Reviews

0 of 4 people found the following review helpful By Joyce Schaan on February 22, 2014
Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
My book arrived on Friday and I unboxed it and left it on the table. This afternoon upon opening it, the cover is backwards to the book. When I went to amazon to once more check on book displayed, the cover and the writing are correct. This is the only way to contact you. I really wanted the book!
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