On 23 March, EU Reporter featured an article about a new report released by the EU Intellectual Property Office (EUIPO) and the OECD which estimates the total value of counterfeit pharmaceuticals traded worldwide to be up to €4.03 billion. Customs data shows that counterfeit antibiotics, lifestyle drugs and painkillers were the most frequently encountered. However, other medicines like counterfeit cancer treatment medication, diabetes treatment drugs, local anaesthetics, malaria treatment drugs, HIV treatment drugs, and heart disease medication were also seized by customs officials. It also showed that 96% of all customs seizures of counterfeit pharmaceuticals were of postal or express courier deliveries. It is reported that the WHO estimates that sub-standard and counterfeit anti-malarial drugs in sub-Saharan Africa can add up to 116 000 deaths annually. India and China are identified as the largest producers of counterfeit pharmaceuticals at global level, with Singapore and Hong Kong appearing as the most important transit points.
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