‘40-50 percent of drugs in Pakistan are fake’

April 26th, 2008 - 2:21 pm ICT by admin  

Islamabad, April 26 (IANS) Pakistan has become a lucrative target of counterfeit drug sellers, according to media reports Saturday. About 40 to 50 percent of medicines being sold in Pakistan are counterfeit, said Dawn newspaper quoting experts.

The problem has become huge and might cause prolonged illness or even death of patients, according to the experts.

The experts, at a meeting held here Friday in connection with the global Intellectual Property Rights Day, said the global trade of counterfeit drugs had crossed $35 billion.

The experts also spoke on the issue of software piracy and said its incidence in Pakistan was to the extent of 90 percent.

If the illegal use of software dropped by 20 percent, Pakistan could attract 100,000 high-tech, high-paying jobs and millions of dollars in foreign investment, they said.

Nearly 65 percent of the goods being sold in the country were counterfeit, said Saleem Farruk, head of the research team of the Centre for Research and Security Studies, which had organised the event.

He said more than half of the cigarettes sold in Pakistan were counterfeits, causing more that Rs.15 billion annual revenue loss to the government.

The experts stressed that Pakistan has to respect intellectual property rights if it wants to attract foreign investment.

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