International Organisations, Industry, Launch Campaign Against Fake Medicines 26/11/2013 by William New, Intellectual Property Watch 1 Comment Share this:Click to share on Twitter (Opens in new window)Click to share on LinkedIn (Opens in new window)Click to share on Facebook (Opens in new window)Click to email this to a friend (Opens in new window)Click to print (Opens in new window)Ten global health organisations today launched “Fight the Fakes,” a global campaign against “fake” medicines, aimed at raising awareness about medicines – brand or generic – that are not what they claim to be. Meanwhile, a Swiss pharmaceutical company official was named head of investigations at a top international public health organisation. The campaign’s website, fightthefakes.org, is intended to raise awareness about the problem, be a resource, and will show stories from people working against such products, the group said in release. “Fake medicines trick patients into believing they are receiving genuine medicines while they are getting deceitful products that could cause further illness, disability or even death,” they said. “Furthermore, fake medicines pose a public health threat by contributing to the development of treatment resistance.” The problem affects mostly developing countries but also developed countries, and affects both brand name and generic products, it said. The campaign said it “supports the World Health Organisation (WHO) Mechanism to combat Substandard/Spurious/Falsely-labelled/Falsified/Counterfeit Medical Products and calls for international, multi-stakeholder collaboration under WHO’s leadership.” Partners include a number of groups with ties to the pharmaceutical industry, such as the International Federation of Pharmaceutical Manufacturers and Associations and the NCD Alliance. Others are the Global Fund to Fight AIDS, Tuberculosis and Malaria, and Medicines for Malaria Venture. The joint statement and terms of reference are available at: www.fightthefakes.org/about/ In Geneva, the issue of counterfeits is sensitive. All nations agree there is a serious problem, but in recent years have debated the meaning of counterfeits, as it is strictly speaking a trademark issue under international trade rules, but has been used to refer to substandard medical products as well. There also have been cases of governments raising concern that brand-name drugmakers use counterfeit fears to discourage consumers from purchasing legitimate generics, and that there have been unfair seizures of shipments of generics, the subject of consultations at the World Trade Organization. Novartis Official Named Investigations Director at Global Fund Also today, the Inspector General of the Global Fund, Martin O’Malley, today announced the appointment of a senior investigator from Swiss pharmaceutical company Novartis to be its new director of investigations. The post will include oversight of anti-counterfeiting efforts. Katie Hodson, who will start in January, has more than 20 years of experience in conducting and supervising investigations, most recently as global head of investigations at Novartis, the Global Fund said in a release. “Ms. Hodson has broad international experience handling cases of diversion and counterfeiting as well as numerous investigations involving corporate security and misconduct,” the release said. O’Malley himself was hired earlier this year, which the Fund said is an indication of its commitment to improving operations. The Office of the Inspector General, established in 2005, “works to ensure that the Global Fund invests the world’s money in the most effective way possible in the fight against AIDS, tuberculosis and malaria. Through audits, investigations, oversight and consultancy work, it makes objective and transparent recommendations to promote good practice, reduce risk and condemn abuse,” the Fund said. Share this:Click to share on Twitter (Opens in new window)Click to share on LinkedIn (Opens in new window)Click to share on Facebook (Opens in new window)Click to email this to a friend (Opens in new window)Click to print (Opens in new window) Related William New may be reached at email@example.com."International Organisations, Industry, Launch Campaign Against Fake Medicines" by Intellectual Property Watch is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial-ShareAlike 4.0 International License.