Illegal Pharmaceutical Market

The U.S. Drug Enforcement Agency is dedicated to stopping the black market trade of pharmaceuticals. However, demand for illegitimate pharmaceuticals is growing 2% faster than the legal market. Production of illegal medications through unlicensed labs is highly lucrative, even when selling these drugs at a fraction of the legal market price. The illegal pharmaceutical market is worth about 200 billion dollar worldwide. This market provides low cost drugs to people who cannot afford them through legal markets. These range from antibiotics, blood pressure, HIV, and cancer medications, to opioids, antidepressants, barbiturates and other addictive drugs. The sale of legally obtained medications and forged prescriptions are also traded on this market. The majority of these drugs are sold overseas to gangs in poor countries with limited medication availability. These gangs exploit the communities they live in and contribute to worldwide criminal enterprises. Counterfeit drugs are also of major concern. 15% of drugs sold on the black market are counterfeit. These drugs are extremely dangerous. Most are incorrect formulations, are contaminated with heavy metals, cut with toxic chemicals, or contain inactive ingredients. These drugs can kill, introduce new illness, and prolong sickness of the consumer.dea-badge