DUBLIN, October 26 /PRNewswire/ --
- International Call for Patient Group Task Force to Fight Growing Fake Medicines Trade
Major international research, including the views of bodies that represent more than 121,000 patients across Europe, was unveiled today in Dublin, Ireland - one of the world's biggest net exporters of pharmaceuticals. And a leading health campaigner has called for patient groups across Europe to unite to battle against the growing problem of fake (counterfeit) medicines that are entering the European market. 560,000 fake medicines were seized at the EU's borders in 2005, a 100% increase from 2004 - it appears that there has been a three-fold increase for 2006.
The report 'What should be done about counterfeit medicines' reveals a worrying lack of knowledge among patients and patient organisations into the scale of the counterfeit medicines problem across Europe. 20% of the patient advocacy groups surveyed said that they have received reports of counterfeit medicines from their members (or from the public) and 18% of respondents think counterfeit medicines are a serious problem.
Presenting the findings, Stephen McMahon, chairman of the Irish Patients' Association commented: "The World Health Organisation (WHO) estimates that up to 10 per cent of all medicines are counterfeits, rising to 25% in some countries. This is a serious issue. We know thousands of men, women and children have died from fake medicines. My grave fear for patients everywhere is that the estimated seizures of medicines are no more than a few hours' production capacity in the US$35 billion a year counterfeit medicine pipeline. Be vigilant, let us all work together to combat this vile trade."
Graham Satchwell, security expert and author of 'A Sick Business:
Counterfeit Medicines and Organized Crime' commented at the launch: "Recent
seizures of counterfeit medicines are the tip of the iceberg and the
increase in counterfeiting and illegal trad
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