Saturday, July 5, 2008

How to Make US$ 3.56634 Million in Pharma Business?

No kidding! One Mr Viraj Shah (37) of UK has done it by dealing in counterfeit drugs. But the only problem now is that he'd be spending a good 51 weeks in prison, face suspension for two years, and pay back the society with 40 hours of community service, as the Kingston Crown Court has convicted the person.

Counterfeit drugs are a menace all over the world, with most of them present in regions where the regulatory and legal systems are frail.

According to the WHO fact sheet on counterfeit drugs:

Most industrialized countries with effective regulatory systems and market control (e.g. USA, most of EU, Australia, Canada, Japan, New Zealand) have a low proportion, i.e. less than 1% of market value”

“Many countries in Africa and parts of Asia and Latin America have areas where more that 30% of the medicines on sale can be counterfeit, while other developing markets have less than 10%; overall, a reasonable range is between 10% and 30%”

“Many of the former Soviet republics have a proportion of counterfeit medicines which is above 20% of market value — this falls into the developing country range.”

Businesses dealing in pharmaceuticals need to be wary of the crime, not only because it eats into their profits, but also because it can kill thousands of innocents in no time. I think it's integral to a company's social responsibility.

You might want to browse through the resources below for more information on the issue and tips to combat the crime.

Helpful Resources

  1. The United States Food and Drug Administration (US FDA)
  2. The United Kingdom Medicines and Healthcare products Regulatory Authority (MHRA)
  3. World Health Organization International Medical Products Anti-Counterfeiting Taskforce — WHO IMPACT

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