The Coalition Against Fake Medicines, a group of public and private institutions whose aim is to rid the Philippines of counterfeit drugs, recently called the country’s slow judicial process a major factor in the rise of phony medicines.
The Coalition, which includes the Philippines’ Department of Health and Pfizer, recently held a press conference to speak out on the issue, according to the Manila Bulletin.
“The judicial process is slow, it takes 5 to 6 years to reach fruition on certain cases. We need rapid response because this involves health and safety issues of people,” Scott A. Davis, senior director for Global Security/Asia Pacific Region, told the press conference, reports the news source.
Davis said that he is working with the U.S. Embassy in Manila to identify the best way to handle counterfeit drugs. He also said that he is currently targeting the Bureau of Customs because it is the first line of defense in the battle against fake medicines, reports the news provider.
The Coalition is also working to raise awareness of counterfeit drugs, and their efforts appear to be successful as the Philippine government recently declared the third week in November National Consciousness Week against Counterfeit Medicines.
The Department of Health estimates that counterfeit drugs account for 10 percent of the drug market in the Philippines.