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European States Sign International Counterfeit Medicine Treaty

Russia, France, Germany and other European countries signed the first ever international treaty to combat the counterfeit medicine industry .

Developed in 2010, the Council of Europe created a binding international instrument based upon the Right to Life provision in the European Convention on Human Rights and Fundamental Freedoms. Signatories of the treaty agree to criminalize activities that produce or promote the sale of counterfeit drugs that are harmful to patients.

The convention introduces minimum standards for the criminal law of the signatory countries, said Council of Europe media officer Estelle Steiner, reported The Moscow Times.

Said Tatyana Golkova, Health and Social Development Minister of Russia, “The global trend has been that these crimes were often not considered as serious enough to merit criminal law measures,” she said. “In some countries, these activities have already been criminalized. In others, the governments will have to introduce new measures.”

Austria, Finland, Italy, Israel, Iceland, Portugal, Switzerland, Ukraine, Russia, France and Germany have signed the treaty.

By S. Imber

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