PRESS RELEASE: Fight the Fakes Alliance expands association with four new members
Geneva, 23 February 2022 – Fight the Fakes Alliance welcomes the Brazzaville Foundation, the Alliance for Safe Online Pharmacies (ASOP Global), Butler University and New Giza University as the newest members of the association. The four new members commit to supporting Fight the Fakes in taking the fight against substandard and falsified medicines to the next level.
Though it is a challenge to measure the scope of these dangerous products, the World Health Organization (WHO) estimates that fake medicines can account for up to 30% of the drug supply chain in parts of Asia, Africa and Latin America. Fight the Fakes Alliance first as a grassroot advocacy campaign and now a non-for-profit association gathers around a diverse membership of organisations representing health care professionals, manufacturers, wholesalers, researchers, and patients. The Alliance is glad to count on the support of the new members who take the problem of falsified and substandard medicines very seriously.
The Brazzaville Foundation is a non-for-profit organisation based in London. Its mission is to design, promote and support African initiatives in the fields of peace, the environment, and health. The Foundation has been committed to addressing the issues of falsified medicines since 2017 and in January 2020, fostered the creation of the Lomé Initiative, together with African heads of state and international organisations, including WHO (World Health Organization). This initiative aims to develop and implement national plans, promote relevant international agreements, and introduce legislation to criminalise the trafficking in substandard and falsified medicines in Africa. “The objectives of our organisations are fully aligned especially when it comes to helping African countries respond to substandard and falsified medicines issues, I believe that together we can have a profound impact protecting the African citizens from fake medicines” says Richard Amalvy, CEO of Brazzaville Foundation.
The Alliance for Safe Online Pharmacies (ASOP Global) is non-for-profit organisation headquartered in Washington, D.C. with activities in U.S., Canada, Europe, Latin America, and Asia. ASOP Global is dedicated to addressing the growing public health threat of illegal online drug sellers through strategic efforts around the globe, concentrating its activities in research, education, Internet intermediary voluntary actions, and advocacy. “The COVID-19 pandemic has led to a flourishing industry of fake vaccines and medicines sold online. Health care is not like buying shoes and purses on the internet. Your life is at stake, and it’s regulated for a reason. We are here to fight this.” says Libby Baney, Senior Advisor representing ASOP Global.
Two outstanding universities join Fight the Fakes Alliance as Academic Chapters: Butler University in the U.S. and the Egyptian New Giza University (NGU). The Butler University, College of Pharmacy and Health Sciences Chapter is invested in the global issue of illegal online drug distribution through illegal internet websites and other nefarious drug sales outlets such as social media, and is developing targeted education, research, and advocacy programs regarding the use of the internet that harms patients worldwide with substandard and falsified medicines. “The increased use of the Internet and social media has been associated with new and evolving options for sellers to promote information and medical products that are of questionable quality, origin, and authenticity. Ultimately, misinformation and SF medicines cause harm and are a global threat to patient safety. We are ready to collaborate with this renowned association to play our part in making healthcare safer worldwide” says Dr. John Hertig, Professor in Butler University’s College of Pharmacy and Health Sciences.
New Giza University on the other side has been rallying to combat the dangers of falsified medicines since 2019 with awareness campaigns dedicated by youth to their fellow professionals in training on how to identify, avoid and report falsified medicines in Egypt. Their decision to join Fight the Fakes was partly sparked by the increased regulatory interest and the movement towards Universal Health coverage.
“The new members will undoubtedly strengthen the capabilities of the Alliance” says Adam Aspinall, Senior Director, Access and Product Management at Medicines for Malaria Venture and Fight the Fakes Alliance Chair. He continues “Fight the Fakes includes members that represent all key players involved in tackling this public health issue, enabling the Alliance to position itself as a go-to platform for people to find information and resources to learn more on the dangers of substandard and falsified medicines.”
If you have any questions, please reach out the Fight the Fakes Secretariat at email@example.com.
About Fight the Fakes Alliance
The Fight the Fakes Alliance (Commonly referred to as ‘Fight the Fakes) is a multi-stakeholder non-profit association that aims to raise awareness about the dangers of falsified and substandard medicines. Fight the Fakes gives a voice to those who have been personally impacted and shares the stories of those working to put a stop to this threat to public health. It seeks to build a global movement of organisations and individuals who will shine a light on the threat falsified and substandard medicines pose to patient safety and health systems and to achieving universal health coverage. Fight the Fakes’ diverse membership shares the belief that coordination among all stakeholders working along the medical supply chain is essential if we are to tackle this global health threat.
Membership of the FTF Alliance is open to business and non-profit organisations, as well as academic institutions and youth groups. Private sector companies will be able to join the Alliance as corporate partners via a separate membership scheme. Please contact firstname.lastname@example.org for further information.
About falsified and substandard medicines
The WHO defines falsified medicines as medicines that deliberately/fraudulently misrepresent their identity, composition, or source. Nearly any type of pharmaceutical product can be and has been falsified: whether “lifestyle” medicines, including erectile dysfunction and weight loss medicines, or lifesaving medicines including those used to treat malaria, tuberculosis, HIV/AIDS, cancer, heart disease, diabetes and other life-threatening conditions. Manufacturers of fake medicines do not discriminate –fake medicines can be both long established and recently marketed medicines, both branded and generic, and both domestically manufactured and imported. Substandard also called “out of specification”, these are authorized medical products that fail to meet either their quality standards or specifications, or both.