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European fake drug market worth €10.5bn, says Pfizer sponsored study

16-Feb-2010

Counterfeit drugs worth €10.5bn ($14.3bn) are sold in Europe each year with Germans and Italians being the biggest consumers of such products, according to new Pfizer sponsored research.

The “Cracking Counterfeit Europe” study asked 14,000 people in 14 countries if they had ever purchase prescription only drugs without a prescription, with and average of 21 per cent saying that they had, rising to 38 per cent in Germany and Italy.

Jim Thomson, chair of the European Alliance for Access to Safe Medicines (EAASM), was one of the first to respond to the findings, telling Reuters that: “Counterfeit medicine is costing the industry a huge amount of money but it's costing healthcare providers a lot more."

Pfizer’s interest in the research is unsurprising, given that its products Viagra and Lipitor are among the biggest targets for fakers.

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