Sunday, June 22, 2008

EU drugmakers demand repackaging ban to stop fakes

Drugmakers called on Thursday for a ban on the repackaging of medicines within the European Union in order to stamp out the growing threat of counterfeits.

"It is absolutely imperative, if we are going to try and protect consumers from counterfeits, that we do not allow a system that can take our medicines out of its packaging," industry association head and Bayer Healthcare (BAYG.DE: Quote, Profile, Research) CEO Arthur Higgins told reporters.

Pharmaceutical manufacturers blame the legal practice of parallel trade -- in which drugs bought in low-priced markets are repackaged and resold in high-price countries -- for fuelling counterfeit traffic. Parallel traders deny the charge.

Preventing repackaging would deal a blow to the parallel trade and could also help drugmakers' profits, since companies' revenues are currently eroded by arbitrage dealings in their products across borders.


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