According to the situation report of the World Health Organization (WHO) Member State Mechanism on Substandard/spurious/falsely-labelled/ falsified/counterfeit (SSFFC) medical products:
“The manufacture, distribution and sale of SSFFC medical products is an international issue threatening the health of people in every region and every Member State. It threatens public confidence in life saving medicines, health care systems and undermines trust in health care professionals, in addition to wasting precious resources. This topic has been widely and regularly recognized as an unacceptable risk to public health by Member States and in various international forums.”
Agenda item 15.3 at this year’s World Health Assembly (WHA) discussed the dangers fake medicines pose to people and public health initiatives worldwide. Please read the Fight the Fakes statement delivered today at the WHA by the International Pharmaceutical Students’ Federation (IPSF) on behalf of all Fight the Fakes partners.
Fight the Fakes Statement, WHA67
Item15.3 Substandard/spurious/falsely-labelled/falsified/counterfeit medical products
Delivered by the International Pharmaceutical Students’ Federation (IPSF)
Thank you for the opportunity to contribute to this important discussion today.
Today we speak on behalf of the partners of the Fight the Fakes campaign. Fight the Fakes is a multi-stakeholder campaign supported by organizations representing healthcare professionals, disease-specific organizations, research institutes, product-development partnerships, foundations, coalitions, non-profits, wholesalers, pharmacists, and private sector.
Fight the Fakes partners support the work of the WHO Member States Mechanism on Substandard/spurious/falsely-labelled/falsified/counterfeit medical products as a key contribution towards an effective fight against fake medicines.
Fake medicines are a public health threat as they put patients and the general public at risk. Patients exposed to fake medicines believe they are receiving genuine treatment, but instead they are getting potentially dangerous products that could increase resistance to real treatments, and cause further illness, disability or even death.
Fake medicines undermine patients’ trust in health systems, their governments, health care providers and manufacturers of genuine medicines. Fight the Fakes partners believe that a comprehensive strategy to combat manufacturing and distribution of fake medicines requires an active participation that involves all stakeholders and should leverage several competencies at both local and global levels.
Medicines and vaccines counterfeiting is a crime against patients and producers of fake medicines are criminals.
Tackling fake medicines requires strong policies, legislation and penalties for those producing fake products. Robust coordination among international organizations is vital to ensure this problem is correctly tackled. As the leader on global health matters, the World Health Organization (WHO) has an unparalleled role to play.
Fight the Fakes partners stand ready to support WHO Members in increasing awareness and understanding of this crime and protect patients from fake medicines worldwide.