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).


Defining the Problem

Bryan A.  Liang, MD, PhD, JD

Often understanding a problem begins with a definition.  The World Health Assembly, the decision-making body of the World Health Organization (WHO), meets each May to discuss public health issues and determine future WHO policies.  This year, WHO's constituted International Medical Products Anti-Counterfeiting Taskforce (IMPACT) introduced a resolution to update WHO's definition of a counterfeit medicine.  IMPACT proposed changing the definition from "deliberately and fraudulently" mislabeling a medicine's identity and source to the "false representation" of a medical product's identity, history or source.