Europe : COVID_19: March 2020 report urges immediate action against illicit pharmaceuticals

The OECD and the EU Intellectual Property Office (EUIPO) have reported that growing international trafficking in fake medicines must be addressed, given the recent hauls of medical supplies which are being sold as COVID-19 cures. A joint OECD and EUIPO report states that fake pharmaceuticals trafficking is worth almost €4bn ($4.35bn). This estimation is based on customs hauls between 2014 and 2016. During this period, 96% of fake pharmaceuticals customs hauls were of courier or express courier deliveries and this was much higher than the average for other products. Medicines for serious illnesses such as malaria and HIV/Aids were also seized between 2014-2016. India and China were the largest manufacturers, and mainly targeted African, European and US markets. Singapore and Hong Kong were the major transit points for the largest fake products supply chain. Yemen and Iran are also major transit points for fake pharmaceuticals. Trade is facilitated by a rise in small parcel shipments, which are more difficult for customs officials to detect.

Source : I

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