EUIPO: Fake drugs threaten EU jobs
- As well as threatening patient safety, fake drugs are costing the pharma industry (Manufacturers and wholesalers) around €10.2 billion ($10.9 billion) a year in the EU alone. This is around 4.4% of the sector sales, according to a study from the European Union Intellectual Property Office.
- Lost income means lost jobs – around 38,000 – and the knock-on effect to the EU economy means an additional €7.1 billion lost in other sectors, and job losses in total of about 91,000. Added to this, there would be a total loss of government revenue of about €1.7 billion.
- The EU's Falsified Medicines Directive is fighting the impact of fake drugs, including enforcing safety features on packaging and tougher rules on inspections and record keeping.
Falsified drugs damage health, whether it's because the drug is at too low or high a dose, is the wrong drug, or isn't even a drug at all. They damage the reputation of doctors and pharmacists. And now it appears that they are also having a direct impact on people's jobs, and causing wider knock-on damage to the EU economy.
The impact varies by country. The lost sales are highest in Italy, at €1.59 billion (around $1.74 billion), followed by Spain at €1.17 billion, Germany at €1.05 billion and France at €1.03 billion. The lowest lost sales are Finland and Sweden, at or near zero, Luxembourg at €2 million and Malta at €6 thousand. Looking at the relative effects of cost sales due to counterfeiting, the highest are Bulgaria, Romania, Hungary and Greece, at between 12% and 18% of their sales, which is a large proportion for relatively low income countries, according to the report.
The study attributes the job losses to the countries where the drugs are manufactured, rather than where they are sold. So, as the biggest producer of medicines, Germany would be the hardest hit by job losses, at around 7,000. Overall, the hardest hit countries are Germany, Italy, France and Spain. The loss of government income through taxes could be as much as €1.7 billion, which will have an impact on healthcare as well as other government-supplied services.
- European Union Intellectual Property Office The economic cost of IPR infringement in the pharmaceutical industry
- Life Science Leader The Falsified Medicines Directive – What Does It Really Mean?
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