The organization, Prosalud Interamericana, worried that emergency contraception pills being sold in Peru were not, in fact, birth control pills at all. They investigated and what they found was disturbing: 1 out of 4 pills was a generic antibiotic.via Popular Science:
As a traditionally Catholic country, Peru has been slower than most to accept contraceptives. Over the past decade, most citizens’ ideology has gradually stretched to accommodate the need for birth control, but emergency contraception (AKA the “morning after” pill) is still highly controversial in Peru. Although some question the pill on moral grounds, others are starting to question it based on sinister scientific findings: some of the pills are not the pill.
With a growing number of “verified” emergency contraceptives being registered in Peru over the past few years, leaders of Prosalud Interamericana, a nonprofit organization dedicated to raising awareness about sexual health, became suspicious that some of the birth control being sold in Peruvian pharmacies was not the pill described on the packaging.
“While each product had been registered by the authorities, it was well known that the registration procedures were not very stringent,” said Alan Lambert, the president of Prosalud Interamericana. Fearing that the pills were faulty, the organization contacted researchers in the United States to investigate what exactly was in them. What they found, as they reported in a recent study, alarmed them: one in four of the emergency contraceptives they sampled wasn’t what it appeared to be. In fact, one wasn’t even birth control at all—it was just a cheap antibiotic being sold as birth control.
But how did these drugs get into the supply chain? How can fraud like this be prevented, and what can women do to be sure they’re not getting fake pills?