Tuesday, October 12, 2010

Thai Government Promises to Crack Down on Counterfeit Drugs

Thailand has decided to crack down seriously on counterfeit medicine, and nine concerned government agencies have inked a memorandum of understanding to join forces.

According to a September 29th issue of The Nation, nine Thai government agencies are signing a Memo of Understanding linking their efforts to fight counterfeit drugs in part due to the United States putting Thailand on a Priority Watch List as it relates to Intellectual Property Rights and Trade.

The nine Thai agencies are the Customs Department, Food and Drug Administration, Department of Special Investigation, Pharmaceutical Research and Manufacturers Association, Royal Thai Police, Information and Communications Technology Ministry, Central Institute of Forensic Science, Office of the Attorney-General for Intellectual Property and International Trade, and the Commerce Ministry's Intellectual Property Department.

According to The Nation:

• Deputy Commerce Minister Alongkorn Ponlaboot said yesterday that these agencies would suppress not just the distribution of counterfeit medicines, but also trademark violators. The sale of fake medication not only costs the country thousands of billions of baht a year but also adversely affects consumers' health, he warned.

• The government is promising to crack down on violators of intellectual-property rights so Washington can review Thailand's status in relation to trade.

"These fake products have caused more damage than we can estimate because the agencies working on this do not share information enough," Alongkorn said.

Last year, the government seized 145,000 tablets of counterfeit medicine worth Bt58 million. This does not include the many illegal products that have been smuggled across the border.

• Under the MoU, the agencies will join forces not just to suppress fake products but to demolish processing plants, Alongkorn said.

• The plan is also to inform the public about the adverse effects of purchasing counterfeit goods.

• "The US will review its trading partners' status under Article 301 of the Trade Law next month. Our plan is to persuade Washington to remove Thailand from its Priority Watch List," he said.

Secure Pharma Chain is encouraged by the actions of the Thai government and by the United States in pressuring their trading partners to be more active in their enforcement.

To read the entire The Nation article, visit: http://www.nationmultimedia.com/home/2010/09/29/business/Serious-crackdown-on-counterfeit-drugs-planned-30138956.html

To learn more about pharmaceutical anti-counterfeiting technology, visit: http://www.xstreamsystems.net/.

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