Substandard and falsified medical products are a global public health threat. A pilot survey of awareness among physicians in Sweden

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle


Substandard and falsified medical products are a public health threat, primarily associated with low- and middle-income countries. Today, the phenomenon also exists in high-income countries. Increased Internet access has opened a global market. Self-diagnosis and self-prescription have boosted the market for unregulated websites with access to falsified medicines.

To describe the state of knowledge and experience on SF medical products among emergency physicians (EPs) and general practitioners (GPs) in Sweden.

An online survey with anonymous answers from 100 EPs and 100 GPs. Physicians were recruited from TNS SIFO’s medical database. The term in the survey was ‘illegal and falsified medicines’ which was common in Sweden at that time. It corresponds well with the term ‘substandard and falsified medical products’ that the WHO launched shortly after our data collection. We report our results with this term.

In Sweden, 78.5% of the physicians had heard the term ‘illegal and falsified medicines’ and 36.5% had met patients they suspected had taken it. Physicians lacked awareness of the use of the reporting system and wanted more knowledge about how to deal with patients who have possibly used falsified medicines.

To meet the public health threat of SF medical products, physicians need more knowledge.


Research areas and keywords

Subject classification (UKÄ) – MANDATORY

  • Pharmaceutical Sciences
  • Ethnology


  • drug abuse, emergency care, primary care
Original languageEnglish
Number of pages8
JournalJournal of Public Health
StateE-pub ahead of print - 2018 Jun 1
Publication categoryResearch

Related research output

Susanne Lundin & RUI LIU, 2016 Jan 1, Department of Arts and Cultural Sciences, Lund University. 19 p.

Research output: Book/ReportReport

View all (1)

Related projects

View all (3)

Related activities

Gabriella Nilsson (Chair), Susanne Lundin (Host)
2015 Dec 16

Activity: Participating in or organising an eventOrganisation of conference

View all (1)