Fight The Fakes Campaign Grows, Now Includes Generics CompaniesPublished on 6 June 2014 @ 8:51 pm
By Julia Fraser for Intellectual Property Watch
The Fight the Fakes campaign announced today the support of the Generic Pharmaceutical Association and 10 other new partners for its campaign to raise awareness worldwide about the dangers of fake medicines.
According to the campaign, the WHO estimates that up to 30 percent of drugs supplied in Asia, Africa and Latin American may be fake medicines. These “could increase resistance to real treatments, and cause further illness, disability or even death,” it said.
The campaign’s website, fightthefakes.org, launched in November 2013, provides a platform to share first hand experiences with fake medicines and bring together different organisations and individuals already working on this issue worldwide. Strong coordination among international organisations and all actors involved in the manufacturing and distribution of medicines is “vital to tackle this public health threat,” says the campaign.
In the Fight the Fakes joint statement, endorsed by all partners, a “fake” medicine is defined according to WHO’s definition of a medicine which is “deliberately and fraudulently mislabelled with respect to identity and/or source,” and applies to “both branded and generic products.”
New partners include representative groups of “wholesalers, pharmacists, mobile app services, coalitions for consumer protection and generic pharmaceutical manufacturers,” says the campaign press release. This is in addition to existing partners, including “healthcare professionals, disease-specific organizations, research-institutes, product-development partnerships, foundations, non-profits and the private sector.” The addition of the generics industry is significant for an initiative strongly supported by the brand-name industry.
A list of the partners can be found here.
“Patient and consumer safety is the generic pharmaceutical industry’s number one priority,” said Ralph Neas, CEO of Generic Pharmaceutical Association (GPhA), a new partner. “That is why GPhA is pleased to stand with Fight the Fakes. It is critically important to strengthen supply chain security through efforts such as drug tracking system modernization, e-labeling and other initiatives that enhance the ability of regulators to limit risks posed by the proliferation of adulterated or counterfeit drugs.”
Libby Baney, executive director of another new partner, the Alliance for Safe Online Pharmacies, added that “illegal online drug sellers as the problem is too big, too lucrative for criminals and too complex for anyone to be able to stop it alone.”
Julia Fraser may be reached at email@example.com.