Campaign calls for more effort to combat counterfeit medicines

A week-long awareness-raising campaign has been launched to combat the spread of substandard and falsified medicines.

A week-long campaign has been launched to rally organisations and individuals around the world to spread the word about the dangers of substandard and fake medicines and take action.

The 37 members behind the Fight The Fakes campaign will be raising awareness throughout their organisations and in so doing are potentially reaching over three million doctors, nurses, researchers, wholesalers, pharmaceutical executives, medical and pharmacy students and many more.

The campaign organisers say that falsified drugs are a growing global issue that can affect anyone, anywhere and the most frequently reported falsified medical products are antibiotics and antimalarials. The implications of falsified and poor-quality medicines do not only pose a threat to patients, with sometimes tragic consequences, they also contribute to the development of antimicrobial resistance, fuel mistrust in health care professionals and health care systems and hinder countries socio-economic development, they have said.

The organisers have further stated that they want to see greater efforts and concrete action from the World Health Organization (WHO), regional agencies and national governments to curb the manufacturing and distribution of falsified medicines. Strong national legislative frameworks which prohibit the manufacturing and sale of falsified medical products and subsequently rigid law enforcement need to be put in place, they said.

Further, the implementation of robust and effective drug regulatory systems which prevent falsified medicines from reaching patients has to be prioritised, the organisers said. For the goal of UHC by 2030 to remain tangible, coordinated action by all relevant stakeholders will be critical and in 2020, Fight The Fakes has said it will bring this message to governments and international organisations to rally as much support as possible.