“1% of the total value of the medical market comes from counterfeit products in developed countries; but this ratio can reach up to 10-15% in emerging countries, and 30% in developing countries” states the WHO.
The apparent contradiction between the quantity of falsified medicines destined to developed countries and the rate of counterfeit products that are on the market (1%) stems from the size of the market in these countries and the effectiveness of measures that protect their health systems from falsified products.
One thing is certain, developed countries will not be spared!
The different reports on counterfeit medical products indicate that China, India, and to a lesser degree Russia, are the main producers of counterfeit medical products. A report from 2012 from the Pharmaceutical Security Institute (PSI) designates Asia as the world region most involved in incidents related to counterfeit medical products (http://www.psi-inc.org/geographicDistributions.cfm).
According to the OECD, 75% of global counterfeit medical products come from China and India and half these products transit through Dubai to mask their origins.1
Singapore seems to be the hub for packaging. The products are then marketed on all continents with diverse storage zones that have no ties to producer countries to prevent any traceability.2
In Nigeria or Pakistan, counterfeit medical products represent 40 to 50 % of the entire medical market.
In Thailand and Nigeria, 36.5 % of antibiotics and anti-malaria medication are falsified.2
In the past 5 years, counterfeit medication has multiplied by 10 in the United States while increasing amounts of falsified medicines are seized in Europe.3
Though emerging countries remain the most affected by falsified medical products, the scourge has increasingly extended to developed countries, more so with the advent of online sales of medication.
1 IRACM, Rapport d’étude “Contrefaçon de médicaments et organisations criminelles”, 2013
2LEEM, “Contrefaçon des médicaments une atteinte à la santé publique”, September 2014