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The Real Impact of IMPACT

Counterfeit drugs are a global problem that requires an international solution. In fact, an international cooperative effort is already underway with the World Health Organization’s (WHO) International Medical Products Anti-Counterfeiting Taskforce (IMPACT).

Kubic 2 (sm) Thomas T. Kubic

Counterfeit drugs are a global problem that requires an international solution.  In fact, an international cooperative effort is already underway with the World Health Organization’s (WHO) International Medical Products Anti-Counterfeiting Taskforce (IMPACT). 

Launched three years ago, IMPACT works to combat the growing public health threat posed by counterfeit drugs and medical products by promoting and strengthening international collaboration to combat counterfeit medical products. 

The WHO / IMPACT taskforce plays a fundamental role in helping countries to strengthen medicines regulatory capacity.  Ongoing work within IMPACT includes an assessment tool developed by the Drug Regulatory Authority of Tanzania for regulators to measure their capacity to deal with counterfeit medical products and a rapid response guide for regulators developed by the Drug Regulatory Authority of Argentina.  The IMPACT Enforcement group has already produced an excellent guide for the investigation of these well organized groups of transnational counterfeiters.

Recently, we’ve witnessed well orchestrated efforts to undermine this important work under the guise that somehow these noteworthy efforts to secure safe medicines are denying patients access to medicines. Really?  I’d ask – How many patients want counterfeit medicines?

This important initiative should be fully supported, funded and staffed appropriately.  The police and custom services cannot do it alone. It’s time for the WHO and its member states to dedicate appropriate resources to anti-counterfeiting efforts

The only way we can stop the unscrupulous counterfeiters is by working together across international lines and government agencies.

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