Tuesday 18 June 2019
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The News - 5 days ago

Counterfeit medicine a ?growing threat?: EU study

PARIS: Counterfeit medicine is a growing threat in Europe, causing serious illness or even death and costing the pharmaceutical industry billions every year, according to a study published Wednesday. Criminal networks are producing an increasingly diverse range of medicines , including drugs to treat serious illnesses such as cancer, the European Union s police agency Europol and its Intellectual Property Office (EUIPO) said in a report.Although luxury items such as clothes and jewellery are among the most commonly detected counterfeit goods, professional gangs in Europe are producing an increasing range of goods, including food, pesticides and car parts. Organised crime groups who produce and sell these goods have no respect for the quality of products which very often pose health and safety risks, said Europol head Catherine De Bolle. Pharmaceuticals made in unhygienic clandestine laboratories by unqualified workers can contain the wrong active ingredient, no active ingredient at all, or high levels of toxic substances, the report found. Gangs also import illegal medicines from countries outside the EU, such as China, where most counterfeit items originate, before repackaging them for sale in Europe. Counterfeiters then deliver the drugs to customers who order them through unauthorised and unregulated online pharmacies or social media pages, which capitalise on the increasing self-medication trend and consumer demand for cheap medicines .


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