Pharmaceutical falsification is always a serious health risk. In fact, a falsified drug is never equivalent in quality, safety and effectiveness to the corresponding original drug, even when it contains the correct amount of active ingredient. The degree of danger depends on the type of falsification.
In Italy, the marketing of falsified medicines is practically limited to illegal online pharmacies and unauthorized shops (gyms, Afro-shops, beauty centres, etc.).
The phenomenon of falsification also affects dietary supplements, medical devices and cosmetics to which substances with pharmacological activities are fraudulently added (medicines in disguise).
In Italy, a national anti-falsification task force is operating, including the Istituto Superiore di Sanità (ISS, the National Institute of Health in Italy).