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€10.2 billion lost every year across the EU due to fake medicines

Published on 30/09/16 at 10:37am

A report commissioned by the European Union Intellectual Property Office has shown that a staggering amount of money, €10.2 billion, is being lost annually through the illegal distribution of counterfeit pharmaceuticals.

The lost sales translate to 37,700 jobs directly lost across the pharmaceutical sector in the EU. Whilst the total number of jobs, when other sectors are brought into consideration, could be as high as 53,200 jobs lost.

The report breaks the losses down to the individual countries worst hit:

  • Germany: The report estimates that over €1 billion, or 2.9% of the German pharmaceutical sector’s sales, is lost annually as a result of counterfeiting, with 6,951 direct jobs lost.
  • Italy: Up to €1.59 billion, or 5% of the Italian pharmaceutical sector’s sales, is lost each year as a result of counterfeiting, the report estimates, with 3,945 direct jobs lost.
  • France: The report estimates that over €1 billion, or 3% of the French pharmaceutical sector’s sales, is lost annually as a result of counterfeiting, with 3,667 direct jobs lost.
  • Spain: Up to €1.17 billion, or 5.9% of the Spanish pharmaceutical sector’s sales, is lost each year as a result of counterfeiting, the report estimates, with 3,223 jobs lost.
  • United Kingdom: The report estimates that €605 million, or 3.3% of the UK pharmaceutical sector’s sales, is lost annually as a result of counterfeiting, with 2,940 direct jobs lost.

 

EUIPO’s Executive Director, António Campinos, said,  “We know through analysis done by the World Health Organization (WHO) that both generic and innovator medicines are falsified, from cancer treatment products to inexpensive pain treatments. These fakes can be toxic and pose a serious danger to health. Our report shows that they also have a serious impact on the economy and on jobs. Our aim is that our data and evidence-based studies will help policymakers as they devise responses to the challenge of combatting fake pharmaceuticals.”

Ben Hargreaves

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