New EUIPO research suggests counterfeit drugs cost the EU pharmaceutical industry €10.2bn ($11.1bn) a year in lost sales. The organisation believes the drug industry in the European Unuion (EU) employs fewer people as a result.
“Those lost sales translate into 37,700 jobs directly lost across the pharmaceutical sector in the EU, as legitimate manufacturers and distributors of pharmaceuticals employ fewer people than they would have done in the absence of counterfeiting.”
The research, which was conducted in collaboration with the Spanish General Association of Consumers (ASGECO), identified Italy as a hotspot for counterfeit drug sales with around €1.59bn worth of fakes being sold each year.
Fake drug sales in Germany and France cost industry €1bn in lost revenue respective according to the EUIPO. In the UK €605m is lost annually as a result of counterfeiting.
EUIPO 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.”