Counterfeit Drugs

Latest counterfeit drugs statistics and news about fake medicines. Data about the substandard pills are collected from public health officials, global organizations and other public information sources.

Business leaders in Saudi Arabia state that statistics show that nearly 80 percent of retail stores in the country sell counterfeit goods to its customers. When surveying customers, the business industry found that 20 percent are using counterfeit products in their households.

25 percent of the medicines sold in local markets are counterfeit drugs.

Saudi Arabia losses an estimated $4 Billion a year to counterfeits.

Source:  Nadim Al Hamid, “Consumers warned not to buy counterfeit goods,” Arab News, September 21, 2013.

The Automotive Component Manufacturers Association of India has reported that up to 20 percent of all road accidents that occur in India are due to counterfeit auto parts.  The counterfeiting of parts affected over 400 companies in India.

In addition to the fake auto parts, between 5 to 10 percent of products in the pharmaceutical industry consists of counterfeit drugs.

Source: Vithika Salomi, “Fake spares cause 20% of mishaps: Reports,” Times of India, August 31, 2013.

In 2012, up to 30 percent of the drugs sold in Kenya were believed to have been counterfeits, according to the Pharmacy and Poisons Board of Kenya.

In Ivory Coast, the rate of counterfeit drugs sold was between 20 to 25 percent.

Source:  AFP, “Counterfeit medicine trade targets Africa’s poor,” Google News, August 22, 2013.


In the first 7 months of 2013, police in China conducted over 19,000 anti-counterfeiting cases throughout the country. The Ministry of Public Security reported that the counterfeit products seized and destroyed by the Chinese security service included:

Source:  “China police crack down on counterfeit goods,” Channel News Asia, August 10, 2013.

In the first six months of 2013, authorities in Yemen seized and destroyed over 57 tons of counterfeit and expired foods, counterfeit cosmetics and counterfeit drugs. 581 cases of counterfeiting have been identified by law enforcement, with 522 cases being sent to the Prosecutors office.

Amongst the actions taken by officials were seizing  50,000 packs of chewing gum and shutting down 8 ice cream factories that were shut down due to lack safety standards and substandard ingredients.

In 2012, over 80 tons of counterfeit goods was seized and destroyed in Yemen.

Source: Ali Ibrahim Al-Moshki, “Over 57 tons of expired, counterfeit goods destroyed,” Yemen Times, July 8, 2013.

European Union police agency Europol reported that 28.6 percent of all counterfeit goods seized in 2011 consisted of counterfeit foods and counterfeit drugs. The portion of fake foods and medicines seized in 2011 was up from 14.5 percent in 2010.

Source:  Financial Times, “Crime Gangs Look to Clean Up as Europe’s Black Market Balloons,” CNBC, June 24, 2013.

An estimated $1.5 Billion worth of counterfeit drugs was reported to have been sold in Mexico in 2008. This latest figure is higher than the previously reported value of $650 Million in 2006.

Up to 30 percent of all medicines sold in Latin America are estimated to be counterfeits.

(Additional counterfeit goods statistics.)

Source:  Miriam Wells, “Criminals Flooding Paraguay With Counterfeit Drugs,” Insight Crime, June 24, 2013.

According to the Chairman of the Pharma Bureau in Pakistan, the pharmaceutical market in the country is worth $2 Billion year. Out of the total legitimate market, counterfeit drugs is estimated to take up to 15 percent of the market, or $300 Million a year.

The 15 percent estimate of fake drugs in Pakistan by industry representatives is lower than the 30 to 40 percent estimate given by the World Health Organization in 2012.

Source: Farhan Zaheer, “Country badly needs a study to assess threat from fake drugs,” Express Tribune, May 20, 2013.

Police in Central and East China broke up a counterfeit condom production ring that had 4.65 million fake condoms already packaged and ready for shipment. Police also found an additional 1,100 pounds of unpackaged counterfeit condoms at the warehouse.

The factory could produce up to 20,000 counterfeit condoms each day. The cost of produce one fake condom was $0.03 (0.17 Chinese Yuan), which would be sold for $0.16 (1 Yuan).

Health officials in China said that the condoms were poor quality and was prone to break during sexual activity.

Source:  Kaijing Xiao, “Counterfeit Condom Ring Busted and Millions of Contraceptives Confiscated,” ABC News, May 15, 2013.

The Seoul Metropolitan Police Agency broke up a criminal ring that was selling counterfeit erectile dysfunction drugs in the country. The ring would buy fake Viagra from producers in China for $0.06 (70 South Korean Won) per tablet.  They would then resell the counterfeit drugs to men in South Korea for $0.81 to $0.90 (900 to 1,000 Won) per tablet.

The price of legitimate Viagra made by Pfizer and sold at pharmacies in South Korea normally cost between $16.15 to $17.94 (18,000 Won to 20,000 Won) per tablet.

(Additional under the table and illegal income earnings.)

Source:  Yonhap, “Nine nabbed for smuggling fake Viagra from China,” Yonhap News, May 15, 2013.