EUIPO Report Says Counterfeit Medicines Cost EU €10.2 Billion a Year

October 6, 2016
Pharmaceutical Technology Editors
PTSM: Pharmaceutical Technology Sourcing and Management
Volume 11, Issue 11

A report from the European Union Intellectual Property Office shows that the EU loses approximately €10.2 billion a year due to counterfeit medicines.

A report, published on Sept. 29, 2016 from the European Union Intellectual Property Office (EUIPO), shows that 4.4% of legitimate sales of pharmaceuticals are lost each year in the European Union due to counterfeiting. 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.

When the knock-on effect of counterfeit pharmaceuticals on other sectors is taken into account, an additional 53,200 jobs are lost elsewhere in the EU economy. The total yearly loss of government revenue as a result of counterfeit pharmaceuticals in this sector across the EU-28 in terms of household income taxes, social security contributions, and corporate income taxes is estimated at €1.7 billion (approximately $1.90 billion).

“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,” António Campinos, EUIPO’s executive director said in a statement. “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. Today’s report is released in a joint event organized at the EUIPO with ASGECO, the Spanish General Association of Consumers, which is thus opening the third edition of its campaign ‘consume original.’”  

In Germany, the report estimates that over €1 billion (approximately $1.12 billion), or 2.9% of the German pharmaceutical sector’s sales, is lost annually as a result of counterfeiting, with 6951 direct jobs lost. In Italy up to €1.59 billion (approximately $1.77 billion), or 5% of the Italian pharmaceutical sector’s sales, is lost each year as a result of counterfeiting, the report estimates, with 3945 direct jobs lost. The report estimates that more than €1 billion (approximately $1.77 billion), or 3% of the French pharmaceutical sector’s sales, is lost annually as a result of counterfeiting, with 3667 direct jobs lost. Up to €1.17 billion (approximately $1.31 billion), or 5.9% of the Spanish pharmaceutical sector’s sales, is lost each year as a result of counterfeiting, the report estimates, with 3223 jobs lost. The report estimates that €605 million (approximately $674.91 million), or 3.3% of the UK pharmaceutical sector’s sales, is lost annually as a result of counterfeiting, with 2940 direct jobs lost.

Source: EUIPO