Tackling One of the Most Critical Threats: Counterfeit Drugs

Published: November 23, 2021

Brand & New

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Rory Corcoran Assistant Director, Organized and Emerging Crime Directorate, INTERPOL Lyon, France

Over the last few months, public authorities have warned citizens about the alarming increase in the lethality and availability of counterfeit prescription pills. These counterfeit drugs are mass-produced by criminal drug networks in labs, deceptively marketed as legitimate pills, and sometimes even killing unsuspecting or vulnerable individuals.

Fueled by easy Internet sales, global supply routes, and minimal effective punishments, counterfeit prescription drugs have become an exploding industry worth over US $75 billion a year worldwide, and at the same time, a massive economic, social, and public health issue. This trend has been reinforced by the COVID-19 pandemic, which fueled a global demand for medical supplies and medications.

What is the reality of this underground market at the global scale? How big of a threat are fake medications? How does it impact the economy and society? What is the role of international organizations such as INTERPOL that focus on fighting criminal acts?

Our guest is Rory Corcoran, Assistant Director, Organized and Emerging Crime Directorate, INTERPOL, the global network of police forces representing 194 member countries, making it the world’s largest police organization.

Mr. Corcoran joined INTERPOL in 2018 and is now responsible for overseeing several of its organized crime programs. Most recently, he has been leading INTERPOL’s worldwide fight against COVID-19-related crime. He has over 30 years of experience in law enforcement and spent most his career in the Irish Counter Terrorism Unit and the Irish National Economic Crime Bureau.

Related Resources

About Rory Corcoran

Also of interest:

Interpol: Fake Medicines

BBC News: Fake drugs—How bad is Africa’s counterfeit medicine problem?

DEA Issues Public Safety Alert on Sharp Increase in Fake Prescription Pills Containing Fentanyl and Meth

Interpol: Global operation sees a rise in fake medical products related to COVID-19

Department of Justice: Successful drug seizures leave our community a safer place—Long

Inventa: Counterfeiting of Drugs in Africa—current situation, causes and countermeasures

Homeland Security Today: Thousands of Fake Online Pharmacies Shut Down in INTERPOL Operations

INTA Report: Addressing the Sale of Counterfeits on the Internet


About Brand & New

Brand & New podcasts from the International Trademark Association

Host Audrey Dauvet discusses compelling business and legal topics relating to intellectual property, innovation, technology, and change with an international roster of influential experts and industry visionaries.

Brand & New guests contribute to this podcast in their personal capacity, and the opinions expressed (or experiences shared) are their own. They do not purport to reflect the views or opinions of INTA or our members.

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