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Trade in Counterfeit Pharmaceutical Products

image of Trade in Counterfeit Pharmaceutical Products

This report, one in a series of studies by the OECD and the European Union Intellectual Property Office (EUIPO), enhances understanding of the issues and challenges facing governments, businesses and society posed by the trade in fake pharmaceutical products. Illicit markets for fake pharmaceuticals are attractive for counterfeiters, given the high profit margins, low risks of detection and prosecution, weak penalties, and the ease with which consumers can be deceived into believing that the counterfeit products are genuine. Counterfeit medicines not only cause economic damage for the sector, but are also a significant threat to public health, since fake medicines are often not properly formulated and may contain dangerous ingredients. Fake pharmaceuticals include antibiotics, lifestyle treatments, pain killers, anti-malarial drugs, diabetes treatments and central nervous system medicines.

English

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Industry overview

The pharmaceutical industry is an important and growing sector for many economies. This chapter charts its growth and importance, and describes the geographical distribution of the major companies. It then outlines the trends in international trade in pharmaceuticals, and finishes by highlighting the high intellectual property intensity of the sector.

English

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