The survey among 2,000 animal owners shows that approximately ten percent believe to have already fallen for fake medicines in the past. Moreover, almost 90 percent of those questioned stated that they had already bought drugs via websites that are suspected of being used for selling fakes as well, such as eBay and Wish. More than six in ten participants (62 percent) admitted that they were not able to distinguish between original and counterfeit medicines, according to the manufacturer Bayer Animal Health, which was recently acquired by the U.S. company Elanco.
The survey was conducted among pet owners in the UK who had purchased parasite treatment products between July 2019 and July 2020. According to the report, however, the problem is a global one. The survey follows on a seizure of fake and potentially dangerous flea collars in Philadelphia, which were en route into the United States from China and Hong Kong.
The manufacturer emphasized that counterfeit medicines might pose a serious health risk to pets and pet owners. Accordingly, many of the buyers who felt cheated were either worried (42 percent) or upset (38 percent). The manufacturer advises pet owners to watch out for signs of counterfeiting when buying medicines, including inconsistencies in packaging and design, unusually low prices, and products shipped from abroad.