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Partnership for Safe Medicines Commends Successful Global Operation Targeting Online Fake Drug Sellers

The Partnership for Safe Medicines (PSM) today applauded a multi-national effort that resulted in 76 people being arrested or placed under investigation for selling counterfeit drugs online. Operation Pangea III was coordinated by INTERPOL.

Partnership for Safe Medicines Commends Successful Global Operation Targeting Online Fake Drug Sellers
Cooperation between INTERPOL, Law Enforcement from 45 Countries Key to Success

Washington, D.C. (October 14, 2010) – The Partnership for Safe Medicines (PSM), the leading public health group representing more than 60 non-profits in the fight against counterfeit drugs, today applauded a multi-national effort that resulted in 76 people being arrested or placed under investigation for selling counterfeit drugs online. Operation Pangea III was coordinated by INTERPOL with the close coordination of police, customs authorities and drug regulators from forty-five countries, as well as security directors from the drug manufacturers.

“This is, by far, the best example of joint partnerships that I’ve seen in recent years, and underscores what PSM has long believed – that global cooperation and coordination is essential to the successful disruption of transnational criminal groups who aim to harm patients in order to make a profit from counterfeit drugs,” said Tom Kubic, member of the PSM Board of Directors and President and CEO of the Pharmaceutical Security Institute.

Counterfeit drugs pose a serious health threat to consumers, whether they are sick or well.  Fake drugs can contain a lower dosage of the effective ingredient, harmful ingredients or ingredients that negatively interact with other medicines the consumer is taking. As a result, not only are patients ingesting something that can cause harm, but they are not getting the medicine they need to keep them healthy. 

In conjunction with Operation Pangea III, INTERPOL also launched a consumer outreach campaign to build awareness of the dangers of buying medicines online using a series of web videos of individuals sharing their personal accounts of the harm caused by counterfeit drugs purchased online.

“On behalf of PSM’s member organizations, I congratulate those who made Operation Pangea III such a success and thank them for their efforts to keep medicines and consumers safe,” continued Kubic. "Counterfeit drugs are a global health problem, and require a cooperative global health solution. Partnerships between law enforcement and education can have a real impact on keeping patients safe."

About PSM:
Comprised of more than 60 non-profit organizations, the Partnership for Safe Medicines is a public health group committed to the safety of prescription medicines and protecting consumers against counterfeit, substandard or otherwise unsafe medicines.  PSM can be found on Facebook (http://www.facebook.com/SafeMedicines), Twitter (@safemedicines), and the web at www.safemedicines.org.

Media Contact:
Teresa Schofield
teresa@safemedicines.org
+1-202-347-7947

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