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Counterfeit drugs are in the European Union's supply chain

Counterfeit drugs are entering the European Union supply chain through the activities of medicine traders.

European Union commissioner Gunter VerHeugen who is responsible for enterprise and industry said that he is "Alarmed at the ever increasing number of counterfeit medicines sold via the Internet. This represents a real danger to the health of patients. "

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But Senior Director of European Trade and Pfizer, Julian Mount said, "However, illegal internet trade is just one part of the story. Counterfeits have also made it into the legitimate medicines supply chain in Europe. " "It is particularly difficult for patients to know if a medicine is counterfeit when it is supplied through trusted sources. "

The American Chamber of Commerce to the European Union "Strongly supports the Commission's efforts to set up the fight against counterfeiting and piracy in Europe. " the American Chamber of Commerce "Ultimately thinks that the consumer should be made aware of the potential health and safety risks of counterfeited goods, through well-designed media campaigns in which key active players such as the European Union and industry should be involved. "

The European Union Commission estimates that about 5 to 7% of world trade in pharmaceuticals is counterfeit. They are concerned that this causes tax losses as well as a loss of income to the companies producing these drugs and there's a great amount of damage to the image of these companies. This results in a loss of jobs.

The European Union Commission says that this ultimately puts the consumer at risk.

The commission has identified 170 medicines that have been counterfeited and that are being sold on the Internet. For the most part, the most popular are lifestyle drugs, growth hormones for bodybuilding and sleeping pills. Counterfeit Viagra and Tamiflu have also been identified as being sold on the Internet.

Currently the European medicines agency has not yet issued a marketing authorization for the drug called rimonabant but the drug is being sold on the Internet. Because the testing is not completed and the authorization has not been issued the commission warned that people buying this drug on the Internet may be putting their health at risk.

When, and if, it is approved of by the commission, rimonabant will be marketed by the firm Sanofi Aventis under the name Acomplia.

This bulletin is being issued by the European News Review as part of a public awareness campaign in order to promote consumer safety.

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