Thursday, June 24, 2010

Reuters: World Customs Organization to Fight $200B Counterfeit Drug Industry

“Counterfeit drugs have become a $200-billion-a-year industry and the 176-nation World Customs Organization (WCO) will sign a declaration later this month to fight the scourge, an official said on Thursday.”

As reported by John Irish from Reuters on June 10th, the WCO announced their efforts to sign a document and unit behind international efforts to eradicate and fight counterfeit drugs.

The story is full of excellent facts, statistics and official quotes.

According to the Reuters story:

"We have more fakes than real drugs in the market," said Christophe Zimmermann, the WCO's anti-counterfeiting and piracy coordinator. "In 2007-2008 alone, it rose 596 percent."

• The World Trade Organization says fake anti-malaria drugs kill 100,000 Africans a year and the black market deprives governments of 2.5-5 percent of their revenue.

• The Brussels-based WCO represents customs operations globally and has joined with former French president's Jacques Chirac's foundation to raise awareness at upper echelons to curtail the illicit industry.

• Spurred by Chirac's foundation, 176 national customs chiefs will sign a declaration on June 24 to ban the making and marketing of counterfeit drugs, Zimmermann told Reuters.

• Fake medicines often contain the wrong or toxic ingredients and pose a growing health threat worldwide, especially in poor countries where drugs are sold to treat conditions such as malaria, tuberculosis and HIV.

• "If these subjects are not dealt with and strong action not taken, they will be a source of conflict," said Catherine Joubert, director general of the Fondation Chirac, adding that so far 30 groups had signed the declaration.

• Getting the WCO's 176 members on board will lend legitimacy to proposals to revamp obsolete legislation and improve coordination between enforcement agencies, Zimmermann said.

Secure Pharma Chain Blog endorses the efforts of the WCO and other international agencies to fight this terrible criminal act that kills and impairs the health of millions globally each year.

Important to the success of the fight is the use of anti-counterfeiting technologies and authentication solutions designed to interdict bogus drugs within pharmaceutical supply chains to protect consumers.

To read Mr. Irish’s story in Reuters, visit:

Or visit WCO's site at:

To learn more about pharmaceutical supply chain security solutions, visit:

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