A new report from the European Union Intellectual Property Office (EUIPO) shows that 4.4% of legitimate sales of pharmaceuticals are lost each year in the EU due to counterfeiting. Those lost sales translate into 37,700 jobs directly lost across the pharmaceutical sector in the EU, as legitimate manufacturers and distributors of pharmaceuticals employ fewer people than they would have done in the absence of counterfeiting.
When the knock-on effect of counterfeit pharmaceuticals on other sectors is taken into account, an additional 53,200 jobs are lost elsewhere in the EU economy.
The total yearly loss of government revenue as a result of counterfeit pharmaceuticals in this sector across the EU-28 in terms of household income taxes, social security contributions and corporate income taxes is estimated at €1.7 billion.
EUIPO’s Executive Director, António Campinos, said:
"We know through analysis done by the World Health Organization (WHO) that both generic and innovator medicines are falsified, from cancer treatment products to inexpensive pain treatments. These fakes can be toxic and pose a serious danger to health. Our report shows that they also have a serious impact on the economy and on jobs. Our aim is that our data and evidence-based studies will help policymakers as they devise responses to the challenge of combatting fake pharmaceuticals."
Today’s report is released in a joint event organised at the EUIPO with ASGECO, the Spanish General Association of Consumers, which is thus opening the third edition of its campaign “consume original".
The report estimates that over €1 billion, or 2.9% of the German pharmaceutical sector’s sales, is lost annually as a result of counterfeiting, with 6,951 direct jobs lost.
Up to €1.59 billion, or 5% of the Italian pharmaceutical sector’s sales, is lost each year as a result of counterfeiting, the report estimates, with 3,945 direct jobs lost.
The report estimates that over €1 billion, or 3% of the French pharmaceutical sector’s sales, is lost annually as a result of counterfeiting, with 3,667 direct jobs lost.
Up to €1.17 billion, or 5.9% of the Spanish pharmaceutical sector’s sales, is lost each year as a result of counterfeiting, the report estimates, with 3,223 jobs lost.
The report estimates that €605 million, or 3.3% of the UK pharmaceutical sector’s sales, is lost annually as a result of counterfeiting, with 2,940 direct jobs lost.
The report is the ninth in a series of studies undertaken by EUIPO into the economic impact of counterfeiting
in industrial sectors in the EU. The series previously looked at: the spirits and wine sector; the recorded music sector; the watches and jewellery sector; the handbag and luggage sector; the toys and games sector; the sports goods sector; the clothes, shoes and accessories sector; and the cosmetics and personal care sector.