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ICYMI: IP Summit Addresses Dangerous World of Counterfeit Medicines
By Rebecca Helm, GIPC Intern
In case you were distracted over the past few weeks, the GIPC held its 2013 Global IP Summit, which delved into IP issues facing businesses, economies, and consumers. The latter category served up some of the most dangerous issues of the day: protecting the public from counterfeit medicines.
Jim Owens, from the American Pharmacists Association, cautioned consumers at the Summit, saying that especially when purchasing medicines from an online pharmacy “there’s really no way to assure that what you’re taking is really the product you’re intending to take.” Instead of what their doctors have prescribed, he said, consumers could be taking, “a very good counterfeited product from an appearance perspective, but a very dangerous product.”
A regional ABC station recaps the danger that thousands of these legitimate-looking online pharmacies are actually illicit sites selling unsafe and ineffective medicines. You can view the full report below complete with an interview from Senator Bob Casey, who warns that “all of the hard work and learning and knowledge and expertise that’s brought to bear on our intellectual property economy can be wiped out by theft.”
Many consumers think they can spot and avoid the fake sites, but the GIPC’s Dangerous Fakes campaign has shown that telling the difference between the counterfeit and the real is surprisingly difficult.