[Counterfeit phosphodiesterase type 5 inhibitors--growing safety risks for public health].
ABSTRACT Counterfeit drugs, medical devises and dietary supplements are inherently dangerous and a growing problem. In Europe the growth of the counterfeit medication market is attributable in part to registration of phosphodiesterase type 5 inhibitors (PDE-5) used for the erectile dysfunction. "Viagra, Levitra and Cialis belong to this group. It has been estimated that up to 2.5 million men in Europe are exposed to an illicit sildenafil, suggesting that there may be as many illegal as legal users of sildenafil. In Europe a strong trend is observed towards increasingly professional counterfeits and imitations of Viagra, Cialis and Levitra, with regard to the appearance of tablets, capsules and packaging. The professional presentation will deceive potential consumers into assuming these products are legal, efficacious and safe. Globally, increased obstacles for counterfeiters are necessary to combat pharmaceutical counterfeiting, including fines and penalties. The worldwide nature of the counterfeit problem requires proper coordination between countries to ensure an adequate enforcement. We described the usefulness of the time-of-flight mass spectrometry with the electrospray ionization (LC-ESI-MS-TOF) and the X-ray powder diffraction method (XRPD) for PDE-5 counterfeit screening from the Polish illegal market.