I have a medical problem. What do I do? Whom do I ask? If it’s a sexual problem, and if I am the shy type, rest assured, I can’t talk about it. Can I lump it? Or do I have a secret friend who I can talk to? Well, I can ask Mr.Google and check. What does Mr.Google do? He crunches out pages and pages of information recommending sex pills for my ailment. I read these and see tales of people who have taken these pills and have had magical cures. My cure is just a click away. I am ready to swipe my card and click “OK”! But wait! Are we not forgetting something? Question is….. Are these pills real?
The World Health Organization (WHO) defines counterfeit medicines as those that “are deliberately and fraudulently mislabeled with respect to identity or source. They may contain wrong or no active ingredients manufactured in clandestine labs with no control”. The dominance of this industry has been growing over the years in spite of frequent seizure of these drugs. Why is this happening? Well, in part, this may be attributable to the demand for PDE5 Inhibitor medications (eg. Viagra) and certain steroids. In fact I was genuinely surprised when I had college students visiting my clinic asking for steroid shots. It might be interesting to know that about 5000to 15,000 websites sell fake PDE5 inhibitor substances.
The problem with these sex pills sold on the net are that more than half of them are fake. A good number do not contain the medicine that they are talking about and at worst they have substances that could potentially cause harm. These agents can cause serious adverse events and sometimes even death. If the product is inaccurate, then you don’t know what you are consuming and there is a possibility of drug-drug interactions which are dangerous. Also because the product is inferior or the dosing is inadequate, these medicines often times do not work. This heavily discourages people from from seeking out genuine medicines because they think the medicines won’t work.
Why is this model difficult to destroy? Well, this is because of media and when I talk about media, I am talking about the internet. The net is flooded with images that tell us how imperfect we are and what we need to do to become perfect. We are all sold the image of the “Ideal man” and made to believe anything less than that is just not worth it. Constantly, a low self esteem concept is being sold to us and we buy it as this is what we see daily. Who can forget the invincible role of “Dr.Hannibal Lecter” played by Anthony Hopkins in Silence of the Lambs? In a scene from the movie, Lecter asks agent Clarice Starling (Jodie Foster) “What do we covet Clarice?” and goes on to say in words written in stone.”We covet what we see!” So also, we yearn for an image that we see daily on the web and believe we need to be that and in order to get there we need pills.
What can we do? It is very important to take pills for sexual issues only after consulting a sexologist or andrologist. If you can’t for some reason and are buying it off the shelf or web, make sure the doctor recommends it. I say this again as men with Erectile Dysfunction suffer from a lot of other co-morbid conditions like Diabetes, Hypertension, High Cholesterol, all of which can be missed if you don’t see a physician. So, the net can feature anything. It’s up to you to say no to Counterfeit things.