Avoiding counterfeit dental products in your practice

There’s no denying that the internet is the most convenient way to purchase from a company you already know, but when you are purchasing from a new supplier it is important to be able to ensure they are genuine. A relatively new risk to dental professionals, you may not be aware that counterfeiting is currently worth £10 billion annually in the UK, and that no brand is safe from such copycat activities.

Counterfeiters use numerous online outlets such as search engines, marketplaces and auction sites to sell their goods. They have been known to resort to strategies such as providing fake reviews and labels such as ‘EU-approved’ to trick shoppers into believing they are genuine. Many counterfeit retailers also use social networks to promote their so-called genuine goods. This is something that is difficult to stamp out as once authorities shut down a page, it is very easy for counterfeiters to immediately set up a new one. Some will even take on the name of a reputable company, creating web pages that look uncannily similar to the real thing.

Despite the dangerous reality of counterfeit medicines and medical devices, the pharmaceutical and dentistry industries are no exception to these rogue traders. Experts estimate that up to 15% of the world’s medicines could be fake.

As a dental professional, you need to be aware of these risks when shopping online, so that you can protect yourself and your patients. Within the last year, the Medicines and Healthcare Products Regulatory Agency (MHRA) has been prompted to issue numerous warnings following revelations of dangerous fakes making their way into the dental practice, advising healthcare professionals to take extra care when shopping for goods.

One shocking story tells of how a counterfeit bur shattered while being used on a patient. Luckily, nobody was harmed but imagine the turmoil if that happened in your surgery? These incidences have involved all types of dental equipment including curing lights, composites and cleaning tools – it’s no exaggeration to say that nothing is safe!

To avoid the risks, dental professionals are advised to only buy dental devices from a manufacturer or supplier they can confirm is legitimate, to only use devices that have a CE mark and to protect others by reporting suspected counterfeit medicines or dental devices to the MHRA as soon as possible.

Barry Cockcroft, chief dental officer at the Department of Health, says: ‘It is vital when purchasing any equipment related to the provision of services that dentists ensure that it is fit for purpose.’

 

BDIA Dental Showcase

The British Dental Industry Association (BDIA, formerly BDTA) is committed to helping dental professionals to be able to purchase only safe, genuine goods from reputable sellers. From the 9-11 October, BDIA Dental Showcase will transform Excel London into the ultimate purchasing platform for all your professional needs.

With more than 300 exhibitors and as the UK’s flagship dental event, BDIA Dental Showcase provides you and your whole team the chance to buy all the products, equipment and software you need for the year ahead, conveniently under one roof.

Thanks to live demonstrations and hands-on interaction with products before you commit to buy, it is the ideal opportunity to see the latest from your current suppliers and to discover new ones, on a face-to-face basis.

Many exhibitors also offer discounts and special offers, exclusively to BDIA Dental Showcase delegates. All this plus the opportunity to catch up with societies, attend engaging lectures and network with colleagues.

Visit www.dentalshowcase.com to register now for your free ticket.

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