An organized crime ring in Turkey was broken up by police for selling counterfeit drugs to patients in Turkey and the United States. The ring was packaging flu medicine that was worth $1.34 (3 Turkish Lira), and selling the medicine as fake cancer drugs to cancer patients for $671 (1,500 Lira). The sellers would track cancer patients and approach them outside hospitals and were even able to get their counterfeit drugs into pharmacies.
Security officials in Turkey has seized approximately 2 million packages of counterfeit drugs between 2010 and 2012. The value of the fakes were worth $2.6 Million (6 Million Liras). 750 websites were shut down during the time period for selling counterfeit drugs in Turkey.
Most of the fake medicines are sold on the Internet or on the black market by relatives. Counterfeits have also been able to enter the pharmacy supply chain. In February 2013, counterfeited versions of the cancer drug Avastin was bought in Turkey and then shipped across the Middle East and Europe.
Source: “Turkey fights back against counterfeit medications,” Jornal of Turkish Weekly, January 18, 2014.