8 Wake Forest Intell. Prop. L.J. 387 (2007-2008)
Counterfeit Drugs: A Global Consumer Perspective

handle is hein.journals/wakfinp8 and id is 393 raw text is: WAKE FOREST

VOLUME 8                    2007- 2008                  NUMBER 3
Robert C. Birdt
The proliferation of counterfeit medicines is one of the most
pressing issues facing the pharmaceutical industry.1 The sale of fake
drugs accounts for an estimated $512 billion in global sales each year,
constituting 5% to 7% of total international trade. According to one
source, manufacturing of fake medicines will grow by an average of
13% annually through 2010.3 Sales at that point will generate $75
billion in revenue and represent 15% of the size of the legitimate
industry.4 Consequently, sales of counterfeit drugs deny revenue to
legitimate manufacturers who must recoup the expensive research and
cost of developing new medicines.
Company profits are not the only casualty. There are
numerous reports of injuries and deaths arising from the ingestion of
fake medicines. According to the World Health Organization,
counterfeits purportedly treating AIDS, bacterial infections, cancer,
fungal infections, high cholesterol, tuberculosis and a host of other
* Assistant Professor, School of Business, Department of Marketing and Law,
University of Connecticut. I would like to thank Subhash Jain and the Center for
International Business Education and Research (CIBER) for generous support. A
version of this article was presented at the 2008 Intellectual Property Scholars
Roundtable held at Drake University Law School. I appreciate comments from Peter
Yu, Dan Cahoy, Pramod Mahajan, and Michael Carroll. All errors and omissions
are my own.
1 Amy M. Bunker, Deadly Dose: Counterfeit Pharmaceuticals, Intellectual Property
and Human Health, 89 J. PAT. & TRADEMARK OFF. SoCy 493, 494 (2007).
2 Maria Nelson, Michelle Vizurraga & David Chang, Counterfeit Pharmaceuticals:
A Worldwide Problem, 96 TRADEMARK REP. 1068, 1068 (2006).

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