15 July 2020, Geneva/ Switzerland Fight the Fakes (FTF) is delighted to announce that GS1 is joining the campaign, and will be bringing its wealth of knowledge and expertise on healthcare standards to the campaign. Originally set up in 2013 by 10 organizations, FTF now counts 41 partner organizations, representing doctors, nurses, pharmacists, patients, civil society, manufacturers, wholesalers, and industry.

Substandard and falsified medicines are an ever-growing problem with the World Health Organization having already estimated in 2017 that one in ten medical products circulating in lower-income countries is fake. The COVID-19 pandemic and widespread rumours and advertisements of effective treatments, vaccines and even “cures” have exposed just how prevalent this issue truly is. Effectively combatting the issue of fake medicine requires efforts on various fronts, ranging from education and awareness raising among the public and health care professionals, strong legislative frameworks, and secure medical supply chains. The latter is the forte of GS1. 

GS1 is a global non-profit organization designing standards to improve the efficiency, safety, and visibility of supply chains. The use of standards in healthcare is particularly important as fragile, unregulated supply chains enable falsified medicines to enter the market, reach patients, and subsequently endanger the health and well-being of unsuspecting consumers.

One of the most commonly known examples of a global standards in healthcare, is the unique bar code visible on medicine packing. The falsified medicines directive introduced by the European Commission uses this method and aims to shield the supply chain from an influx of substandard and falsified medicines in Europe.

Secure and robust medical supply chains increase patient safety, drive supply chain efficiencies, and improve the traceability of medicines. Miguel A. Lopera, President & CEO of GS1 is delighted to join the campaign: “Fight the Fakes has done amazing work in increasing awareness around the world about the dangers of falsified medicines and we are looking forward to joining their efforts. Our work at GS1 starts before patients are even exposed to the risk of unknowingly purchasing counterfeit medicine from pharmacies, hospitals, and online channels. Through our standards, we want to ensure that fake medical products don’t get the chance to reach consumers in the first place.

Chris Goetz, Executive VP and General Manager of the International Federation of Pharmaceutical Wholesalers (IFPW), a long-standing member of FTF, expressed his excitement of the new addition to the FTF community: “GS1 has long been championing the need to combat the dangers of substandard and falsified medicines, and providing solutions to help the world’s supply chains do so globally, so it is only natural that they would become a member of Fight the Fakes.  We very much look forward to continue collaborating with GS1 in this important area!

As the campaign continues to raise awareness on this ever-growing issue, our share of voice within the global health community grows larger with the support from our diverse range of partners.


You can download the full press release here


About Fight the Fakes

Fight the Fakes (FTF) is a campaign that aims to raise awareness about the dangers of fake medicines. The campaign 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 organizations and individuals who will shine light on the negative impact that fake medicines have on people around the globe and to reduce the negative consequences on individuals worldwide.

About GS1

GS1 is a neutral, not-for-profit organisation that develops and maintains the most widely used global standards for efficient business communication. We are best known for the barcode, named by the BBC as one of “the 50 things that made the world economy”. GS1 standards improve the efficiency, safety and visibility of supply chains across physical and digital channels in 25 sectors. Our scale and reach – local Member Organisations in 114 countries, 1.5 million user companies and 6 billion transactions every day – help ensure that GS1 standards create a common language that supports systems and processes across the globe. Find out more at www.gs1.org