55 percent of drugs, 65 percent consumer goods and 80 percent electronic items sold in Pakistan are counterfeit

Karachi, August 24, 2015 (PPI-OT):Counterfeit goods have become serious problem as Pakistan declared 13th country in the world, where fake medicines and consumer products are being manufactured and sold in larger quantities. Fake Medicine and counterfeit consumer products are floating freely in our Markets, where 55% drugs, 65% consumer goods and 80% electronic items are counterfeit that has put the health and safety of people at high risk.

This was stated by Umar Ghauri, Chairman Consumers Eye Pakistan-TCEP in his key note speech in Seminar on occasion of World Anti Counterfeiting Day 2015, organized by “The consumers Eye Pakistan (TCEP), Consumer Voice Mag and Helpline Trust” collaboration with Pakistan Standards and Quality Control Authority (PSQCA) and Intellectual Property Organisation of Pakistan (IPO).

Chairman TCEP Umar Ghauri disclosed that Counterfeit electronics market growing twice the genuine goods. Sale of spurious and counterfeit medicines in the country is a big problem as many unwarranted deaths occur due to these drugs. He said the civil society, media, consumers and medicine manufacturers should join hands to stop the unchecked use of fake medicines in the country.

Chairman TCEP said that the foodstuffs of all kinds, including, edible oil, bottled water, tea, soft drinks and baby food are also on the rise. Spurious soaps and cosmetics do not undergo safety tests and some ingredients used in them can affect eyesight, harm the skin by causing dryness or allergies. The highly caustic ingredients in many washing powders can also cause skin burns.

Umar Ghauri warns that Counterfeit perfumes can also be dangerous, as their contents are never subject to safety tests. Similarly, he said, the poor quality pirated books, CDs and DVDs and spare parts of machineries are also being sold all over the country. Chairman TCEP said that the economic development of any country depends on sustained creativity.

He stressed critical need to combat counterfeiting and piracy, which has also been found, linked to public safety issues, the act of counterfeiting is a clear theft of other people’s creativity, investment and efforts. He stressed that intellectual property is more valuable than the physical property and should be adequately protected. Umar Ghauri stressed critical need to combat counterfeiting and piracy, which has also been found, linked to public safety issues.

He said that “in the absence of counterfeit specific laws, special courts and delay in justice are hampering efforts to curb the spread of counterfeit goods in the country. A strict and forceful enforcement of existing laws is needed to control the proliferation of counterfeit products which put human lives at risk”. Umar Ghauri Chairman TCEP further said that “the sale of counterfeit products, in particular, has become so widespread that according to some circles almost 65% of consumer goods having sold in the country are look-alikes of original products”.

Umar Ghauri suggest that Government should enforce activism by police, prosecutors and judges to take action against criminals involved in smuggling for successful enforcement of IPR regime. Investors do not want to invest in those countries where the IPR legislation is weak, He said. Courts of law will play a critical figure in IPR enforcement, which is essential in order to attract investment.

Strengthening the IPR legislation will bring in investment, which in turn will create job opportunities for locals and boost the economy of the country. Umar Ghauri stressed need that there should be property rights tribunals to handle the cases just like the tribunals operating in different countries, and the judges should be well-trained in IPR laws. Umar Ghauri said Pakistan has becomes a paradise for counterfeiters, Joint effort needed to eliminate fake goods and Media should raise awareness of counterfeit.

Hamid Maker founder Helpline Trust in his opening Remarks asked for strict Consumer Protection Law to combat counterfeiting and provide protection to industry as well as consumers. He warns that if we allow this illegal business to carry on unchecked, then we too are equally guilty of this crime. He pointed out that lack counterfeiting enforcement laws has tarnished our image in the International community and has had a negative effect in the investment climate, as nobody wants to invest in a country where laws are not respected nor enforced.

Abdul Qadir Orakzai, Registrar, Intellectual Property Organization of Pakistan (I.P.O) said that “the Lack of awareness to protect intellectual property rights is harming the economy of Pakistan, as well as, the image of the country at global level, the intellectual property rights have a great role for boosting the economy of Pakistan as well as building the image of country”.

Orakzai said “the Intellectual Property Organization Pakistan is trying to make a favorable environment for global investment in the country”. Rasim Khan Editor Consumer Voice Mag presents his presentation and speaks about media’s role in Anti counterfeiting. He said that “Some manufacturers use non-food grade plastics and colors in their products, which cause cancer.

While other manufacturers use old rusted tins and plastic bottles for packing cooking oils and bottled water”. Highlighting IPR Rasim Khan said that “Intellectual Property (IP) is critical for competitive economy in the back drop of ongoing globalization. Sustainable economic growth now depends largely on Hi-tech R and D base and efficient knowledge input”.

Shoaib Ahmed Siddiqui Commissioner Karachi in his Chief Guest address in 2nd Seminar on “combating counterfeiting” said that “Counterfeiting is a threat to our health and safety, causing Heavy losses to the economy. He assured that government will not let counterfeiters free or unchecked in the city. In other Guest Speakers who spoke on the occasion were Ghulam Umar Kazi Director International Relation PSQCA, Abrar-ud-Din, C.E.O, Naheed Supermarket, Tahir Rizvi CEO OneApple Pakistan and Haroon Rasheed.

The speakers had stated that counterfeit goods including food and medicine products are not only a serious health hazard, but they cheat the government of revenue, infringe on intellectual property rights of the original manufacturer, have a negative effect on investment and tarnish the image of Pakistan. They highlighted the harm that they were doing to the economy and to the health of the consumers and emphasized the need for action against the dangers of counterfeit products including food and life saving drugs in Pakistan.

The seminar covered a wide range of topics relating to anti counterfeiting activities, intellectual property rights, Consumer Protection Laws and quality standards, enforcing laws and the role of Consumer NGO’s protecting consumers. Mr Abdul Waheed Memon Media Adviser PSQCA, and Mr Ali Mohammad Director finance PSQCA specially attended the Seminar. The seminar was attended by large number of civil society personalities, representatives from corporate sector, NGO’s, Social workers and students.

For more information, contact:
The Consumers Eye Pakistan (TCEP)
Suit # 305, Paradise Chamber,
3rd Floor, Saddar,
Karachi-Pakistan
Tel: 92-21-35644951, 0345-3252669, 0321-2323051
Fax: 92-21-35644951
Email: tcepakistan@gmail.com
Web: www.consumerseyepakistan.org