Saturday, March 22, 2008

Counterfeit Pharmaceutical Statistics

No one has exact statistics as it relates to the entire scope of the issue of counterfeit pharmaceuticals and its impact on the global pharmaceutical supply chain.

The only consistent to these varied estimates, is that the numbers are all staggering and on the rise. The following were recently presented in a presentation at a global security forum and are attributed to WHO (World Health Organization).

Realize that these statistics do not include the issues of raw material and production errors that most recently surfaced with the example Baxter's Heparin product which was produced with contaminated raw materials..
  • 10% of all pharmaceuticals in the global supply chain are counterfeit.
  • In some developing countries the percentage of counterfeit pharmaceuticals in their supply chain is as high as 70%.
  • Sales of counterfeit pharmaceuticals in the United States were estimated in 2006 to be at least $32B.
  • Developing countries of the Western Pacific (China, Philippines and Vietnam) comprised the region with the most reported cases of counterfeit pharmaceuticals with nearly 49%.

Segmenting counterfeit drugs globally:

  • 16% of all counterfeit drugs contain the wrong ingredients.
  • 17% of all counterfeit drugs contain incorrect amounts of the proper ingredients
  • 60% of all counterfeit drugs have no active ingredients at all.

Although there is no exact number to these statistics nearly every expert agrees that this issue will proliferate and become a significant global health issue in the next several years.

Public health and patient safety within all levels of healthcare rely on a safe and secure pharmaceutical supply. Unless this scourge is controlled many thousands will die because government entities and private industry are not taking the necessary efforts to secure their manufacturing and supply chains.

XStream Systems feels that its XT250 system, which utilizes EDXRD and can authenticate and verify the contents of sealed containers will be one of the most important technologies used in battling this global menace.

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