Addressing the North-South Divide in Pharmaceutical Counterfeiting
26 Pages Posted: 23 Sep 2010
Date Written: March 1, 2007
In light of the stakes involved, greater attention is being directed to the global effort to combat pharmaceutical counterfeiting, and both public and private actors are being called to the fight. The counterfeiting of medical products remains a prominent obstacle to a fully effective health care system in many countries. In order to fine-tune the system, anti-counterfeiting initiatives tend to focus on strengthening technical, informational and legal measures across all nations. But the tendency to maximize the same attributes throughout the world may fail to address fundamental differences in the nature of counterfeiting among countries at different stages of economic development. Significantly, there is evidence that striking distinctions necessitate a more nuanced approach in combating pharmaceutical fakes on a global scale. However, this so-called North-South divide is generally not seriously considered in formulating solutions to the problem. This is an important failure, as an understanding of the factors that influence counterfeiting in respective economic regions is extraordinarily valuable. Solutions that specifically respond to such factors can make far more effective strategies. This article takes a step toward a better understanding of the North-South divide in the context of pharmaceutical counterfeiting. It considers the most important influences in terms of economic actors and suggests that an important tool for addressing the divide may exist in incentive mechanisms for private anti-counterfeiting efforts.
Keywords: counterfeiting, pharmaceutical, patent, trademark, drug
JEL Classification: K33, K39
Suggested Citation: Suggested Citation