Friday, May 15, 2009

Experts Warn Public of 20 Percent Increase in Counterfeits

Fake Flu Medicines and Vaccines expected to be prolific in midst of H1N1 Flu Spread.

Reuters reported yesterday that experts are predicting a dramatic increase in fake goods. The bad economy has spurred an expansion across the black market – including counterfeit medicines, which could pose a public health risk. In light of the recent epidemic of H1N1 Flu, health organizations are warning consumers of the increased risk of fake drugs.

A recap of the story highlights follows:

Experts warn crisis brings more fake goods

MANILA (Reuters) - Global trade in counterfeit goods, including medicines, CDs and DVDs, is expected to rise to nearly $1 trillion this year as economies worldwide continue to slump, security experts said on Thursday.

An estimated $800 billion in fake cigarettes, branded shoes, bags and belts, and pirated movies flowed across the globe in 2007, Stephen Sayell, vice president of Hong Kong-based Asia Risk group, told Reuters.

That figure is expected to rise 20 percent this year.

"As the global financial crisis deepens, the demand for much cheaper consumer goods rises, boosting sales of counterfeiters and movie pirates," Sayell said on the sidelines of a three-day anti-terrorism seminar in Manila.

"We expect a boom in counterfeit medicines and vaccines against flu," Enoch said, warning of potential high risk of a public health threat because of the improper use of anti-viral drugs.

In the Philippines, the health department has already issued a warning against offers by some medical facilities to provide anti-flu shots against the deadly strain of A-H1N1 virus that originated from Mexico.

Last month, the World Health Organization (WHO) warned against the proliferation of fake anti-malaria medicines in the Mekong area, blaming the counterfeit drugs for the emergence of a new strain of malaria that could spread in the region.

(Reporting by Manny Mogato; Editing by Raju Gopalakrishnan and Alex Richardson)

To view the entire article from Reuters visit:

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