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A Sick Business: Counterfeit Medicines and Organised Crime

17th April 2007
a sick business

Recent decades have seen an astounding change in the way we view healthcare. Medical innovation has brought new treatments for all sorts of diseases.

But there is a dark side to the growth in demand for medicines. Counterfeiting of pharmaceuticals is now a global trade.

Conducted by a former policeman, this investigation into the trade in fake medicines and its links with organised crime uncovers a horrifying story. Across Europe, counterfeiters have discovered a range of easy routes for selling fake and sub-standard products into the legitimate distribution chain. A Sick Business shows how, to the uninitiated eye, this crime is invisible. Most patients and consumers are unaware just how many public safety problems counterfeit medicines may cause. It argues that this illegal business is conducted by unscrupulous people whose actions have already cost thousands of lives and may even be linked to terrorist activity – yet almost nothing is being done to stop it.

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