U.S. Customs seized $83M worth of counterfeit medical devices, drugs in 2012

January 30, 2013 by MassDevice staff

Counterfeit medical products accounted for 9% of all seizures by U.S. Customs and Border Protection last year, nearly 1/3 less than confiscated in 2011.

Customs infographic

U.S. Customs & Border Protection seized more than 2,350 parcels containing counterfeit medical devices and pharmaceutical products last year valued at $83 million, according a new report from the U.S. Dept. of Homeland Security.

The agency reported that knock-off medical products made up 9% of all seizures during 2012, down some 27% from the previous year when customs seized 3,206 medical products. In all, federal agents seized more than 22,848 counterfeit products in 2012 valued at $1.26 billion

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More than half of the confiscated medical products were shipped out of China, representing a haul of about $47 million in counterfeit items. China was the origin of nearly ¾ of all seized products, followed by India and Singapore.

The global counterfeits trade has grown, buoyed in part by the ease with which the products can be marketed on the iInternet.

"In recent years, the Internet has fueled explosive growth in the numbers of small packages of counterfeit and pirated goods shipped through express carriers and mail," agency officials wrote in the report (PDF).

Customs officials told MassDevice.com that the agency doesn't breakout pharmaceuticals from medical devices.