IP Outreach Research > IP Crime


Title: Cracking Counterfeit
Author: [TNS]


Year: 2008


Subject/Type: Counterfeiting
Focus: Medicines and Medical Devices
Country/Territory: United Kingdom
Objective: To better understand the mindset of men and why they are turning to illicit sources to buy medicines, often without prescription or consulting a healthcare professional.
Sample: 935 men aged 35+ in major UK cities
Methodology: Survey

Main Findings

11% of the UK men interviewed admit to purchasing prescription only medicines without a prescription, implying that they are going direct to illicit sources to seek their treatment. 50% of those acquiring prescription only medicines without a prescription do so over the Internet. Acquisition sources other than the Internet are: overseas/on holiday abroad (11%), shops (34%), and pubs/nightclubs (3%). On average, the men interviewed claimed to spend £30.61 per annum on fake medicines. Reasons given for counterfeit medicine buying are: convenience and speed (37%), embarrassment of going to a GP (19%), and cheaper price (20%).

45% of those purchasing prescription medicines without prescription find it easy to get hold of such medicines. 68% of respondents suspect that the ingredients of counterfeit medicines to be very different from authentic medicines. When asked about side effects posed by counterfeits, 25% stated that it might react with other prescription medicines, 16% suggested vomiting, and 8% cited death. Those believing that fake medicines have more side effects than genuine ones cited the following potential side effects from fake medicines: death (16%), vomiting (8%), and reaction with other prescription medicines (1%); 25% did not know. 60% of illicit prescription medicine buyers admit that if there was a possibility their medicine was counterfeit, it would have a great impact on their likelihood to purchase.

[Date Added: Jan 27, 2009 ]