Based on detailed shipping figures for Suriname’s main harbour in Paramaribo, we estimate the total shipments (in kilograms) of original and falsified medical products for 1996–2008 across five product categories. Using various time series techniques and diffusion models, we document that total cumulative shipments of falsified products make about 40% of total shipments. We observe that there are apparently two distinct sets of consumers for original and for falsified products. Subsequently, we survey more than 300 citizens of Suriname from various demographics and ask questions about their potential adoption of falsified medicines.
We find that income, age, and family size have no correlation, while the way people are insured does. Hence, the two sets of consumers can roughly be identified and clear-cut policy suggestions are presented. “The World Health Organization (WHO) estimates that up to 1% of medicines available in the developed world is likely to be counterfeited. This figure rises to 10% globally, although in some developing countries they estimate one third of medicines are counterfeit” (Various internet sites consulted January 2010 and the best estimate we have).

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Keywords falsified products, medication, health risk, low-income country
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Series Econometric Institute Reprint Series

This article belongs to the Special Issue "Risk Measures with Applications in Finance and Economics" (

Franses, Ph.H.B.F, & Lede, M.M. (2017). Adoption of Falsified Medical Products in a Low-Income Country. Econometric Institute Reprint Series. doi:10.3390/su9101732