100,000 euros for a Kilo of potency pills

Illegal potency pills, to fraud in the case of a drug against respiratory complaints, manipulated Hepatitis C resources: time and time again Criminals try to bring falsified medicines on the German market. Also on the black market gangs make a lucrative business. The profit margins are in potency means part is greater than in the drug trade with cocaine or Heroin.

Now new obstacles to complicate the counterfeiting. This Saturday, a new protection system in Europe starts prescribes, the new safety features for medicines:

  • Prescription medicines must carry a Barcode on the package, by Scanning in the pharmacy, the authenticity check.
  • In addition, an opening is not intended to guarantee protection such as a seal label that boxes are opened or pills have been repackaged. The falsification Directive, a EU regulation from 2011.

In German pharmacies every year, more than 750 million packages of prescription medicines to be issued. The number of counterfeits in the legal supply chain from the manufacturer through wholesalers to the pharmacies was low, declared to the Federal Institute for drugs and medical devices (BfArM). 2018 would be less than ten suspected cases reported. In each of the cases, but a number of packs could be affected, in addition, a dark permanent number.

Taking fake medicines can have “serious health effects”, the authority. Would be manipulated, active compounds and compositions, but also indications of origin. “The fakes were usually original goods which have been illegally repackaged or original goods from thefts, which was re-introduced into the legitimate distribution chain,” explains Maik Pommer, a spokesman at the BfArM.

The Internet is the bigger Problem

Even larger is the Problem in the illegal trade, such as the Internet or smuggled goods. The global Operation Pangea 2018 customs and police authorities in Germany within a week, around 1200 packages and letter mail. You came to 100,000 tablets, capsules and ampoules, including forbidden food, supplements and pain medication.

Particularly popular with Criminals: sexual enhancer. With a kilogram of the market between 90,000 and 100,000 euros on the black achieve, estimates the Federal criminal police office. In the case of Heroin, there were 50,000 euros. In addition, traded, Viagra cost illegal drug only 60 Euro per Kilo, while for the Heroin of raw materials would be around 7000 euros.

For the Pharma industry, the counterfeits mean significant financial losses. In the EU, the industry escaped by the illegal competition of around 10 billion euros in sales per year, said the office of the European Union intellectual property in 2016. Well, a billion was accounted for by German manufacturers. For this purpose, the image damage caused by criminal counterfeiting.

Barcode test in Europe database

In a global comparison, Germany is affected, however, little of drug counterfeiting – also, because the pharmaceutical industry is strictly regulated. In the traffic, only officially-approved drugs, including the manufacture, distribution and use, monitored, says the Federal Association of the Pharmaceutical industry (BPI). In addition, drug manufacturers have security features such as holograms or micro-writings on medicine packages.

In the future, to be warned in pharmacies automatically when a Manipulation occurs: Each pack has an individual serial number. With the Scan of the Codes in a Europe-wide database allows you to check whether the number of a manufacturer has been awarded, or a pack with the same number already over the counter went. In Germany, the Association Securpharm has established the authenticity of the audit, a merger of pharmaceutical and pharmacists associations.

For the industry it is a large-scale project: 19.345 pharmacies, 346 pharmaceuticals companies, 887 wholesalers and 406 hospital pharmacies in Germany are connected according to the Securpharm to the System. “The implementation of counterfeit protection Directive is one of the largest infrastructure projects of drug supply in Europe,” said the Association. The pharmaceutical industry Association BPI estimates that the investments alone, the company more than a billion euros.

Consumers, the benefits. The packing-Scan displays in the pharmacy suspected cases, you will receive a different box of the drug. Also, leave in the Europe-wide System to trace, where fake means of delivery were in the legal supply chain, explains Securpharm. A stolen Drug will then be locked.