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This statement was made at the World Health Assembly by the International Pharmaceutical Students’ Federation (IPSF) on behalf of all Fight the Fakes partners.
Sixty-ninth World Health Assembly (A69/1)
Ana Duarte, IPSF
Honorable Chair, Distinguished Delegates,
Today, IPSF speaks on behalf of all members of the Fight the Fakes campaign. Together, we represent pharmacists, doctors and nurses, research institutes, medicine manufacturers, nonprofits, mobile health services, wholesalers, distributors and students, willing to tackle this issue by to raising awareness about the dangers of fake medicines and by empowering people.
Urgent action is required. It is time for member states, civil society and all stakeholders to work together. Fight the Fakes partners stand ready to support WHO Members in increasing awareness and understanding of this crime and in protecting patients from fake medicines worldwide. We share the belief that coordination among all actors is vital to tackle this public health risk, and we invite other organizations to join us in coordinated efforts to empower people against this pandemic-like threat.
Fake medicines can deny patients the treatment they need, placing them at risk of further illness, disability or death. It has been estimated that fake anti-malarials contribute to nearly 450,000 preventable deaths every year. At community level, fake medicines undermine patients’ trust in health systems, their governments, health care providers and genuine medicines. At a global level, they contribute to the spread of antimicrobial resistant infections for diseases like TB and increase the burden of disease. Though fake medicines are found in virtually every part of the world, we note that there is still lack of public awareness of the risks associated with obtaining medicines through unsafe, illegal or non-legitimate sources.
The WHO has an unparalleled role to play in combating fake medicines worldwide. We welcome the continuous efforts of the WHO Member State Mechanism in exchanging experiences, best practices, and information at national, regional and global levels and would welcome the possibility to contribute and share expertise