Monday, July 26, 2010

Pharmaceutical Technology: New Treaty to Curb Counterfeit Drugs

Stephanie Sutton in a July 15th report in the electronic newsletter of Pharmaceutical Technology writes about a Council of Europe (CoE) Medcrime Treaty that is hoped will curb the lucrative global trade in counterfeit medications.

According to Ms. Sutton's story, the treaty is the first global convention against counterfeit pharmaceuticals and encourages cooperation among law enforcement agencies, customs, health professionals, and the judiciary.

“This treaty offers a comprehensive approach to tackling a crime that threatens public health and public healthcare systems,” said a spokesman, according to a news briefing from CoE.

“Counterfeit medicines are more lucrative than heroin. It is a vile crime to fraudulently provide patients with products that don’t work.”

Ms. Sutton writes:

· CoE has been long concerned about the absence of harmonized international legislation, nondeterrent sanctions, and the involvement of cross-border criminal organizations. Experts also believe the trend toward self-treatment has “flooded the Internet with medicines produced without any controls, tests or authorisation,” according to the news briefing.

· Another significant worry is the growing incidence of counterfeit medicines in supply chains. The healthcare systems of developing countries are particularly vulnerable to the mass entry of counterfeits; however, CoE believes that fake anticoagulation drugs may already have been taken by patients in the UK. Adultered antibiotics, cancer treatments, antipsychotic drugs, cholesterol-lowering treatments, and erectile dysfunction may also be present in Europe.

· According to CoE, counterfeiters are attracted by the potential for huge profits (i.e., economically motivated adulteration) coupled with low detection rates and comparative light penalties. The treaty will introduce tougher sanctions and help to ensure more effective pursuit of counterfeit manufacturers across international borders.

· The Medicrime Treaty will be opened for signatures later this year at a conference in Istanbul, which will be attended by representatives from more than 40 countries.

Secure Pharma Chain is encouraged by this step by the CoE to gain a more global, regulatory mandate to combat this deadly criminal act.

This treaty along with enhanced technologies and supply chain solutions are critical in eradicating the danger of bogus drugs to consumers around the globe.

To read the entire Pharmaceutical Technology story and see the text of the Medcrime Treaty, visit:

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