Skip to content
The article is more than 14 years old

Growing Seizures of Counterfeit Pharmaceuticals

Finnish Customs has been seizing a growing volume of counterfeit medications. Officials say that they expect an ever sharper upswing during the summer months. Most counterfeit pharmaceuticals are purchased through the Internet, but more and more are being found in shipments on cargo planes arriving from Asia. Last year, customs in Finland seized over 120 000 doses of fake medications. Last year 500 - 600 separate incidents of pharmaceutical import violations were recorded. This year that figure is expected to climb above 800. "If we think of last summer, and the coming summer and autumn when there is usually an upswing in the situation, then we're looking at a record year," confirms Senior Customs Inspector Anssi Kartila. The pharmaceuticals most often encountered are medications intended to treat sexual impotence, and dieting drugs. The world's most widely counterfeited medication is the Pfizer company's Viagra. Knock-offs can contain overdoses and be lethally dangerous. Counterfeits on some European shelves To date, officials have not seen pirated medications in Finnish pharmacies or in other legitimate medical distribution channels. In some parts of Europe, they are available off the shelf. The European Commission is currently considering legislation to fight this form of criminal activity, as well as creating some form of unique identifiers on all medical packaging. Between 5 - 10 % of all the world's medications are estimated to be counterfeit. They are often so well copied that even professionals have trouble telling them from the real thing. The issue is under discussion in Helsinki at the general assembly of the Pharmaceutical Group of the European Union which began on Sunday. YLE

Latest: paketissa on 10 artikkelia