Issue Date: June 11, 2007
Counterfeit trade is worldwide epidemic
Trade in counterfeit and pirated goods across national borders totaled at least $200 billion in 2005, according to a report by the Organization for Economic Cooperation & Development. But the actual value of counterfeit items made and sold worldwide, ranging from pharmaceuticals to computer software, likely was several hundred billion dollars higher, OECD adds. The study identifies Asia as the main region for counterfeit trade and China as the single largest source of production. It notes that fake drugs are a major problem in Africa and that there have been big seizures in Europe and North America. "Policymakers need to take a serious look at the potential ramifications the illicit counterfeit business can have on the health of patients around the world," says Billy Tauzin, president of the Pharmaceutical Research & Manufacturers of America. "The OECD report reinforces our concerns about the possibility of counterfeit medicines creeping into the U.S. drug supply system, particularly if Congress opens the floodgates to imported medicines from abroad," he adds.
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