Safeguarding a Globalising Singapore from Counterfeit Medicines

Safeguarding a Globalising Singapore from Counterfeit Medicines

Name: Lee Jiann Shinn Assignment 3: Final Draft

Title: Safeguarding a Globalising Singapore from Counterfeit Medicines


Singapore is on a new crusade to expand its pharmaceutical industry. It is increasingly becoming a base for both regional and global pharmaceutical production for a growing number of multinational companies. The government has indicated that it wants at least ten multinational manufacturing facilities operational in Singapore by 2010. In addition, Singapore acts as a key trading hub to connect South-East Asia and the Western world and is a major re-exporter of pharmaceuticals. Though these developments bring benefits, the danger of counterfeit medicines penetrating local markets should never be undermined.

Since the 1980s, the sale of counterfeit medicines has become a major threat worldwide. This threat has become more serious in recent years as the number has been up and rising. Worldwide counterfeit sales have been reported to be increasing at nearly twice the pace of legitimate pharmaceutical sales — estimated at 13 percent annually by the Center for Medicine in the Public Interest — and will expand to a $75 billion industry by 2010.

Though counterfeit medicines pose a threat to global health, their dangers have often been greatly underestimated. Other than being ineffective in curing illnesses, they can also cause mental or physical damage and death. In addition, counterfeit drugs with insufficient active ingredients can breed viruses with stronger resistance, resulting in a pressing need to create a more effective drug.

While counterfeit medicines are more prevalent in less developed countries due to the lack of institutional control, the effects of globalisation on developed Singapore may open doors to counterfeit medicines due to increasing global connectivity and integration of the economic, geographical, cultural and technological spheres. Therefore, the strict drug...

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