EU officials seize 34M counterfeit medicines

EU custom officers seized 34 million counterfeit or illegal medicines in a coordinated operation by all 27 states, officials reported earlier this week. The stepped-up effort, dubbed Medi-Fake, was implemented over the last two months and netted antibiotics, as well as anti-malaria, anti-cancer and anti-cholesterol meds, among others. Brussels turned out to be a hotbed for counterfeits. Officers at Brussels' airport seized 2.2 million counterfeit medicines, mostly painkillers and anti-malaria pills. Most of the drugs intercepted came from Asia, with India, Pakistan and China rounding out the top movers.

"In the two months customs seized 34 million illegal pills, far exceeding expectations. It shows the new community approach to risk management is very effective and protects citizens and legitimate business," said Laszlo Kovacs, the EU's taxation and customs commissioner. "It has also helped us identify ways to better fight against trafficking in counterfeit in the future."

- read the Irish Examiner for more

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