The pharmaceutical industry is one of the most regulated industries in the world. While legislation is necessary to protect patients, too much legislation is said to hamper innovation and increase medicine prices. Using qualitative methods such as interviews and document analysis, we investigated the role of private stakeholders in the EU policymakers’ decision to initiate legislation to combat falsified medicines in 2008. Our results show that the pharmaceutical industry, brand owners in particular, were strong proponents of legislation to combat falsified medicines. Their support was not fueled by fear that falsified medicines would harm patients or their own business, but rather because legislative action in this area would advance policies that benefit their businesses objectives. The brand owners framed the issue to policymakers as best to support their business objectives. In general, supply chain actors lobbied for stricter requirements in order to challenge competitors. In the end, the Falsified Medicines Directive may have suffered from company influence not by addressing the primary problem of falsified medicines, but rather by creating additional legislation that benefits the supply chain actors.
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