U.N. health and crime agencies say counterfeit drugs are killing people from China to Canada and they "promote the development of new strains of viruses, parasites and bacteria … for example in the case of malaria or HIV." And in many countries their manufacture and distribution is not even illegal.
The United Nations Inter-regional Crime and Justice Research Institute (UNICRI) said this month that "the Asian and African regions seem to be the most affected by counterfeit medicines" and "more than 30 percent of medicines on sale could be counterfeits in parts of Asia and parts of Latin America while in the former Soviet republics counterfeit medicines could constitute more than 20 percent of market value."
By Roger Bate
22 December 2007