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EU pharmaceutical industry lost €16.5 billion in sales as staff shift to patent infringing firms

Published on 19/06/19 at 10:11am

A report from the European Union Intellectual Property Office (EUIPO) has said ‘counterfeit’ drugs cost the EU pharmaceutical industry €16.5 billion.

The pharmaceutical was the hardest hit industry after the clothing, footwear and accessories industry which lost €45.9 billion in sales on average, each year between 2012 and 2016.

The €16.5 billion annual loss is estimated to a total of 80,459 jobs overall, 33,133 of which were directly related to the proliferation of counterfeit drugs.

However the €16.9 in lost sales only accounted for 3.9% of the pharmaceutical industry’s overall sales. In comparison 10.5% of the cosmetics and personal care industry’s sales went to counterfeiters while 9.7% of the clothing, footwear and accessories industry’s sales were lost to counterfeiters.

The report notes that more and more employees are gaining employment in patent infringing firms as staff shift away from patent holding companies amid wider shifts in the economy.

“The shift has implications for the welfare of employees as working conditions in clandestinely run illicit activities are often far poorer than those prevailing in recognised firms that value their employees higher and adhere to health, safety and other regulatory norms,” the report says.

Louis Goss

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