Research: Falsified Medicines and the Global Public’s Health
Commissioned by the IFPMA and was independently prepared by researchers at the University College London (UCL) School of Pharmacy and the international research agency Matrix Insight.
“The new report focuses on the need for high quality information about the scale of harm caused by medicine falsification. Past studies found that 15 to 50 percent of anti-malarial treatments purchased in parts of Asia and Africa to be counterfeit, and data overall suggest that falsified products may account for nearly one percent of global medicine sales. While people in less developed communities are at greater risk than in richer ones, falsified therapies are regularly reported in virtually every country from the US and EU to the poorest sub-Saharan nations. They also affect every major therapeutic category…
The new report’s key conclusions include:
– An increasing number of governments (including China, India, Brazil, Russia and Nigeria) has, through their actions, recognized the need for effective measures against medicines falsification, which involves deliberately misrepresenting products’ origins and circumventing regulatory controls designed to assure treatment safety and effectiveness.
– The World Health Organization is uniquely placed to add value to governments’ efforts to protect against all forms of pharmaceutical crime, along with those of local regulators and other national and international agencies. More investment is needed to not only quantify medicines falsification but to provide early warning of potentially hazardous products as soon as they are detected in legitimate supply chains.
– All relevant stakeholders should be able and willing to participate in appropriate preventive activities at all levels. The new UCL/Matrix analysis emphasizes the need for more collaborative action between all stakeholders involved in better medicines use. At worst, unresolved disputes between vested interests may cost lives which responsible global action could have saved.