Fight The Fakes

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How safe are your medicines? Join ASOP EU and Fight the Fakes at the European Parliament on June 26 – UPDATED

Fight The Fakes |

On 26 June, Fight the Fakes partner the Alliance for Safe Internet Pharmacy in the EU (ASOP EU) discussed internet patient safety, the risks of getting fake medicines, and how to counter it at the European Parliament. The event was hosted by MEP José Inácio Faria and who delivered a speech via video underlining his interest and involvement in safeguarding public health from falsified medicines. Faria insisted that fake medicines should be given more attention because of their increasing influence in developing anti-microbial resistance (AMR). In addition, MEP Marisa Matias, rapporteur for the Falsified Medicines Directive (FMD), took a seat at the roundtable and showed much gratitude to everyone making efforts to stop the public health threat.

Mike Isles from ASOP EU reminded everyone that beyond the many approaches and definitions of fake medicines the most important point is the safety of patients.

Mike took the floor to present ASOP EU’s activities to make the internet a safer place for purchasing medicines. He also highlighted efforts to spread awareness about the EU Common Logo, a measure in the FMD requiring all online pharmacies and retailers that are legally operating in EU to display the logo on their website. With over 35,000 websites that are illegally distributing medicines, it is fundamental that we raise awareness about this public health threat.

The Common logo
Furthermore, Paulo Morais, President of the Civic Front in Portugal, and Mario Frota, President of the Portuguese Association of Consumer Law represented the consumers’ perspective. Both delivered an informative presentation about the dangers of falsified and counterfeit medicines, explaining how corruption may fuel illegal trafficking and the production of fake medicines. If regulators are corrupted and become part of the business of fake meds, solutions are harder to find.

Consumer education was on the top of the agenda of Mario Frota’s presentation. Making information available, raising awareness and education were key to ensure consumer and patient safety.

The second part of the event focused on implementation aspects of the FMD and started off with European Commission Policy Officer in DG Trade Tamás Király, who pointed out the Commission’s activity in raising awareness for consumers about falsified and substandard medicines. Király expressed the Commission’s intentions to intensify the efforts to fight illegal online sales. Yuliya Morenets from the TaC-Together against Cybercrime International and member of Youth Internet Governance Forum, also emphasized the importance of awareness raising and giving young people a voice to fight for cyber justice via a video message. Finally, Ilaria Passarani, the Secretary General of the Pharmaceutical Group of the European Union (PGEU) closed the session highlighting the importance of the FMD and how the directive will transform the market into a safer place for patients by preventing unauthorized medicines to enter the supply chain.

It was extremely encouraging to see the debate about falsified medicines brought to such a high institutional level and it is key to maintain the momentum.

Fight the Fakes looks forward to seeing more events that will intensify the voice of fighting #fakemeds.

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