Global strategy and plan of action on public health and innovation and intellectual property (agenda item 13.4); 

substandard and falsified medical products (item 13.6); 

and standardization of medical devices nomenclature (item 13.7).

IPSF on behalf of the constituency group, supported by Fight The Fakes Alliance, thank you for the opportunity to make this statement.

The COVID-19 pandemic has led to a global surge in reported falsified medical products including personal protective equipment, diagnostic tests and more recently fake treatments, “cures” and vaccines.

IPSF on behalf of the constituency group, supported by the Fight the Fakes Alliance is calling on the global health community to raise awareness about the dangers of substandard and falsified medical products during this particularly challenging time for Global Health.

Law enforcement is working to prevent and crack down on criminal networks seeking to profit from producing, distributing or selling falsified medical products during this pandemic. Effective action requires strong legislative frameworks that address this threat holistically, including the danger of illegal online pharmacies. On behalf of the constituency we encourage Member States to join and ratify the Medicrime Convention, a unique international tool to deter those engaging in schemes aimed at deceiving patients, by criminalizing such activities, ensuring national and international cooperation and protecting public health.

Manufacturers, distributors, governments, healthcare professionals and all those involved in delivering COVID-19 vaccines to the population are working together to ensure these vaccines are safely procured, stored, distributed and administered. Processes that allow securing and close monitoring of the chain of distribution of COVID-19 vaccines are being put into place by all stakeholders involved, to ensure every vaccine administered through the legitimate supply chain is genuine, of high quality, safe and efficacious. In this regard, the constituency and its members welcome the publication of WHO’s Policy paper on traceability of medical products, which highlights the importance of implementing GS1 global standards for identification, barcoding and data exchange as an important component in ensuring a safe distribution and administration of medical products.

The constituency and its members stand ready to support WHO and Member States in tackling this issue through increased awareness raising, political engagement and health system strengthening initiativesA