EFPIAs Director General Richard Bergström puts forward his views on the counterfeiting of medicines, the impact on patients, and what is being done to solve the problem.
Counterfeiting is an age old issue. It is now a global problem where every sector of our economy has been affected. However, the consequences are different when it comes to counterfeit medicines; the main concern is not so much the loss of revenue to our industry but the health of patients.
11.10.2012, Brussels: Interpol last week announced the seizure of over 3.75million units of counterfeit medicines worth over 10million USD. Operation Pangea V - the largest internet based action targeting black market and fake of illicit medicines- spanned over 100 countries and resulted in over 80 arrests. The operation ran from September 25 to October 2.
A genuine threat to public health
Over 30 million counterfeit medicines have been seized by customs at EU borders over the last five years1
Counterfeiters do not discriminate between branded or generic medicines.
Counterfeit medicines market is lucrative only for counterfeiters and has a huge cost to European patients and society2.
62% of medicines purchased online are fake or substandard3.
95.6% of online pharmacies researched are operating illegally4.
EFPIA is committed to securing the supply chain against counterfeit medicines. EFPIA is actively developing a coding solution that will enable medicine packs to be verified at the point of dispensing. The system was piloted in Sweden in 2009 and is now being developed in partnership with pharmacists, wholesalers and other stakeholders to meet the requirements of the EU Falsified Medicines Directive.
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The Pharmaceutical Research and Manufacturers of America (PhRMA), the European Federation of Pharmaceutical Industries and Associations (EFPIA), the European Association of Euro-Pharmaceutical Companies (EAEPC), the European Association of Pharmaceutical Full-line Wholesalers (GIRP), the Pharmaceutical Group of the European Union (PGEU), and the European Generic Medicines Association (EGA) issued statements last week in line with World Anti-Counterfeiting Day to address the problem of counterfeit medicines and their associations’ efforts in addressing the problem.
On the occasion of World Anti-Counterfeiting Day, EAEPC, EFPIA, GIRP and PGEU are pleased to announce significant progress on their proposed European Stakeholder Model (ESM), a European medicines verification project aimed at preventing falsified medicines from entering the European supply chain and improving patient safety.