Counterfeit Situation – Pharmaceutical


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PSI has collected data on counterfeiting, illegal diversion and theft incidents for fourteen consecutive years. The yearly totals for the last five years are shown on the adjacent bar chart.

The Institute documented 3,002 incidents of pharmaceutical crime during CY 2015. This represented a significant increase from CY 2014 and an all-time annual high. From CY 2011 to CY 2015, total incidents increased by fifty-one percent (+51%).

To better understand the magnitude of the counterfeiting incidents in CY 2015, PSI continued to track the quantity of drugs seized in each law enforcement action. Any incident which involved the seizure of more than 1,000 dosage units was classified as a commercial incident. Those incidents involving less than 1,000 dosage units were classified as non-commercial.

In CY 2015 there were 971 counterfeiting incidents which involved either customs seizures or police/health inspector raids. This represents a thirty-four percent (34%) increase over the prior year. As the adjacent pie-chart shows, thirty-three percent (33%) of counterfeit medicines seizures made by law enforcement were of “commercial” size. Also, the number of non-commercial seizures increased significantly in CY 2015. The seizure of one thousand dosage units or less represented fifty-six percent (56%) of the total.



Totals exceed 3,002 incidents because a region is included if it is the “origin, point of seizure or transit, or destination” of illegal pharmaceuticals.


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