Views & Reviews Review of the Week

The scourge of the drug pirates

BMJ 2008; 336 doi: (Published 13 March 2008) Cite this as: BMJ 2008;336:617
  1. Ike Iheanacho, editor, Drug and Therapeutics Bulletin
  1. iiheanacho{at}

Fake products are thriving, thanks to consumers’ reluctance to pay top prices for designer goods. Too bad that that attitude extends to drugs, says a documentary reviewed by Ike Iheanacho

Britain loves a bargain. Our modern icons include the pound shop and the booze cruise, telling symbols of the urge to seek something for almost nothing. This attitude cannot be wholly due to innate thrift or absolute poverty. After all, the nation still has one of the world’s biggest economies. And it currently enjoys (if that’s the right word) record levels of personal debt, not least because of spending on luxury items.

Yes, like the rest of the world, we want the right brands. But it’s nice not to have to pay too much for them. And if the overdraft will not stretch to those must-have clothes or gadgets, then maybe decent replicas will do. After all, it’s the look and the labels that will impress other people, and if these can be had for a rock bottom price, what is wrong with that?

Almost everything, concludes The Fake Trade, a …

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