Europeans 'ill-informed about counterfeit medicines'

Online pharmacy Most Europeans feel counterfeiting is an issue for luxury goods and clothing, and only around one in five associate the word with medicines, says a new survey.

The Sanofi-commissioned survey found that while two-thirds of respondents had heard of counterfeit drugs, 77 per cent felt they were insufficiently informed or unfamiliar with the subject, although almost all (96 per cent) considered fake medicine to be either possibly or definitely dangerous.

The survey polled more than 5,000 consumers in France, Germany, Italy, Spain and the UK, and found that medicines trailed behind fashion brands, luxury products and electronics in terms of a recognition of counterfeiting as a problem, with awareness a little higher than for spare parts.

There appeared to be a mixed understanding of the perils of ordering medicines over the Internet.  90 per cent said they thought ordering online was risky and could expose the purchaser to counterfeits, and only 18 per cent said they had actually done so.

Among those who had bought online, 78 per cent indicated they felt it was as safe as buying from a regular pharmacy. Then again, almost two thirds of the entire group said there was a real danger in doing so.

Overseas travel was perceived as the second most likely situation that could lead to exposure to fake medicines, according to the survey.

"The general public is not sufficiently informed about the existence of counterfeit drugs and the risks it may be taking in certain purchasing situations," said Dr Caroline Atlani, anti-counterfeiting coordination director at Sanofi.

"These results confirm the need to continue our fight against drug counterfeiting, especially by raising public awareness," she added.

Among the nationalities polled, consumers in France were most aware of counterfeit medicines, with 32 per cent associating medicines with counterfeiting, and they were also less likely than the European average to order drugs online. Spanish consumers were the least aware while Germans were most likely to buy medicines online.

The full survey results can be downloaded here.

Related articles:

     Want our news sent directly to your inbox?

Yes please 2


Home  |  About us  |  Contact us  |  Advertise  |  Links  |  Partners  |  Privacy Policy  |   |  RSS feed   |  back to top