Raids put fakes-makers on notice

Last week's multinational effort to crack down on drug counterfeiters--operation Pangea--shows that the public safety threat raises intellectual property theft to a new level. Few stings targeting designer shoes or handbags are likely to have involved Pangea's level of international cooperation and law enforcement effort.

Government officials around the world have taken note of the huge problem, according to the Washington Post. Fake drugs are now the third-largest counterfeiting category, a $28 million market. Last year the represented just 10 percent of total seizures; the year before, 6 percent.

The raids netted 167,000 suspected illicit and counterfeit pills. Worldwide, the operation seized nearly 1,000 packages of suspected counterfeits and dismantled 72 drug web sites. Some 700 of the packages were seized in the U.S.

As we've reported, the growing problem is spawning tracking and thwarting technologies, industry groups, and industry research tracking manufacturer concern.

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