You are right, it is shocking that this happens. It mostly happens in the less developed counties, but there are lots of examples of it happening in the US as well.
What you need to know is that it only makes sense for the counterfeiters to do it on drugs that are relatively expensive.
I do not expect counterfeit in low-cost generic drugs like i.e. paracetamol or other well known painkillers.
you can reduce your chances of buying drugs that are counterfeit:
-Buy medicines only from licensed pharmacies and get a receipt.
-Make sure that the medicine is in its original packaging.
-Look closely at the packaging. Sometimes poor-quality printing or otherwise strange-looking packaging will indicate a counterfeit product.
-Dont buy online
As far as herbal medications go you have no idea that the herbs are the ones mentioned on the bottle, nor do you know if they have been grown on pesticide contaminated land, or if they have been processed in China, which uses toxic cancer causing chemicals to process them.
I agree with Ger57.
Only buy medications for a reputable pharmacy and avoid buying on line. Not all herbal supplements purchased on line are counterfeit, just be careful who you buy from.
If you have a healthy and well balanced diet, you and your children won't need any supplements.
Personally, I would only purchase medications from a pharmacy for my children or take them to see a doctor if they are unwell and get a prescription if this was deemed necessary.
For sore throats, honey and lemon in soothing. For congestion, use Vick (you can get one that is not so strong for children now).