PSM Applauds INTERPOL, Industry Partnership to Combat Counterfeit Medicines

Interpol image

Image courtesy of INTERPOL.

March 12, 2013 (Washington, D.C.) The Partnership for Safe Medicines (PSM), the leading advocacy organization dedicated to fighting the spread of counterfeit drugs, applauds today’s announcement of a bold new initiative between INTERPOL and the pharmaceutical industry to combat the global health threat of counterfeit and fake medicines.

This new initiative broadens the scope of the successful Medical Product Counterfeiting and Pharmaceutical Crime Unit through the creation of a Pharmaceutical Crime Program to assist and enhance worldwide law enforcement efforts. Thomas Kubic, PSM Board Member and CEO of the Pharmaceutical Security Institute, released the following statement hailing the new agreement:

"Counterfeit medicines threaten the lives of millions of people around the world, and finding ways to address such a complex, far-reaching issue requires ever-increasing global cooperation. The partnership announced today between INTERPOL and 28 of the world's largest pharmaceutical companies is just the kind of progress we need to help keep patients safe from this global health menace.

"The three-year agreement is a positive step forward for anti-counterfeiting efforts, fostering heightened cooperation between INTERPOL, the biopharmaceutical industry, and law enforcement agencies that goes above and beyond INTERPOL’s ongoing successful activities to combat pharmaceutical crime.

"The sad truth is that patients don't even realize the scope of the problem of counterfeit medicines, as well as the lengths that criminals will go to prey upon unsuspecting victims. Efforts like this new initiative will go a long way to not only help stop counterfeits from reaching their medicine cabinets, but also raise awareness of the dangers of fake drugs. Just in the U.S. last year, the FDA warned 370 doctors in 38 states that they could have purchased counterfeit medications, and in some countries up to 40% of their medicine supply may be counterfeit, which is simply unacceptable. PSM applauds INTERPOL and the biopharmaceutical industry on this new partnership, and we look forward to seeing the results of their hard work on an issue of such global significance.”

According to INTERPOL, the new program will involve training, capacity building and enforcement actions along with efforts to raise public awareness, and will include actions to disrupt and dismantle organized crime networks engaging in pharmaceutical crime. More information about the program can be found at www.interpol.int.

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