Fake medicines: EU Pharma-sector loses over €10 billion every year

Veröffentlicht am: 5. October, 2016

The European Union Intellectual Property Office (EUIPO) has published a report presenting the results of the ninth sectorial study, covering the IPR infringement in the pharmaceutical industry. You will find more informations in our article:


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.


The study covers the following products:

  • manufacture of medicaments: antisera and other blood fractions, vaccines, diverse medicaments including homeopathic preparations
  • manufacture of chemical contraceptive products for external use and hormonal contraceptive medicaments
  • manufacture of medical diagnostic preparations, including pregnancy tests
  • manufacture of radioactive in vivo diagnostic substances
  • manufacture of biotech pharmaceuticals

Italy suffers the most sales losses

Italy: 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.

Spain: 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.

Germany: 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.



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.



Notice: The study refers only to manufacturing and wholesale and does not include retailers (e.g. pharmacies).


EUIPO Press-Release

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