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Prescription Drugs

Incident Trends

The PSI has collected data on counterfeiting, illegal diversion, and theft incidents for twenty-two consecutive years. The yearly totals for the last five years are shown in the line graph below.





The graph shows:


  • There were 6,897 pharmaceutical crime incidents in CY 2023


  • Incidents increased by four percent (+4%) from CY 2022



To gauge the magnitude of these counterfeiting incidents, the PSI continued to track the quantity of drugs seized. Incidents involving the seizure of more than 1,000 dosage units were classified as a commercial incident; incidents involving less than 1,000 dosage units were classified as non-commercial.

The Institute found:

  • Seizures increased by nineteen percent (+19%) over the prior year


  • Commercial seizures represented eighty-three percent (83%) of the total


  • Twelve percent (12%) of the seizures were non-commercial.

While non-commercial size seizures worldwide vastly outnumber commercial size seizures, the PSI focuses on the documentation of organizations engaged in pharmaceutical crime.  As most non-commercial size seizures of illegal pharmaceuticals are intended for personal use, they are not counted among PSI incident data unless a specific criminal network is identified.


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