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Communication / Conference: A new interception operation in 16 countries in Africa allows the seizure of 113 million illicit pharmaceutical products

International - 20 January 2017

January 20th, 2017 - IRACM and WCO

On January 20, 2017, IRACM (International Institute of Research Against Counterfeit Medicines) and WCO (World Customs Organization) organized a media breakfast in Paris to unveil the results of ACIM operation (Action against Counterfeit and Illicit Medicines) and presented the ongoing evolutions of traffickers’ practices such as fraud routes, concealment methods, or classes of medicines. This is a new record seizure of 113 million illicit and potentially dangerous pharmaceutical products which took place in September 2016.

Operation ACIM mobilized 16 African customs administrations over a ten-day period, from 5 to 14 September 2016, to inspect simultaneously, in the main ports on the continent, cargoes identified as likely to contain illicit or counterfeit pharmaceutical products posing a dangerous threat to local populations. Most treatments were: antimalarial drugs, anti-inflammatories, antibiotics, and analgesics, as well as gastro-intestinal medicines.

ACIM Operation


Communication / Conference: Enhancing traceability to combat counterfeiting and illicit trade

International - 07 December 2016

December 7th, 2016 - Euractiv et CAIT

On December 6, 2016, the seminar “Enhancing traceability to combat counterfeiting and illicit trade” organized at the EurActiv panel discussion event took place on Brussels, Belgium. It was an opportunity for industries across different sectors and policy makers to exchange their views on best practices in tracking, tracing and authenticating traded goods. Geoffroy Bessaud, responsible for anti-counterfeiting coordination at Sanofi, was speaker at this event and provided information about the issue of medicines counterfeiting, in particular the public health impact and Sanofi's initiatives in the fight against fake drugs. The Coalition Against Illicit Trade (CAIT) launched its new white paper and recommendations for action at the national, European and international levels.

Enhancing traceability to combat counterfeiting and illicit trade

Photo credit : Euractiv

Communication / Conference: First Medicrime workshop for GMDP and Pharmacy Inspectors

International - 28 November 2016

November 28th, 2016 -

On November 8-9, 2016, the first Medicrime workshop for GMDP (GMP - Good Manufacturing Practice and GDP - Good Distribution Practice) and pharmacy inspectors took place in Oslo, Norway. It was organised in collaboration between the Norwegian Medical Agency and the EDQM (European Directorate for the Quality of Medicines), and is part of the training strategy of the Committee of Experts to organise more technical workshops focusing on inspectors potentially coming across falsified medical products.

Communication / Conference: Fake medicines won't be called “counterfeit”, WHO says

International - 26 November 2016

November 26th, 2016 - Securing Industry

End of 2015, a working group of the WHO (World Health Organisation) had been set up to refine the working definitions of "substandard/spurious/falsely-labelled/falsified/counterfeit" (SSFFC) medical products. On November 23, 2016, the definition adopted dropped the word “counterfeit” and uses the term “falsified”. The proposed definitions are as follows: “Substandard medical products - Also called 'out of specification', these are authorized medical products that fail to meet either their quality standards or their specifications, or both; Falsified medical products - Medical products that deliberately/fraudulently misrepresent their identity, composition or source.”

Communication / Conference: ASOP Global successfully convenes International Symposium on Drug Chain Security and Combating Counterfeit Drugs

International - 19 November 2016

November 19th, 2016 -

Alongside local China partners, Alliance for Safe Online Pharmacies (ASOP Global), an international non-profit organization that works to protect patient safety online and ensure patient access to safe medications, brought together key international stakeholders of private and public sectors during an October 28 symposium titled “International Symposium on Drug Chain Security and Combating Counterfeit Drugs” in Beijing. The symposium had two sub-forums, one combating illegal Internet drug sales and the other on track-and-trace systems.

Communication / Conference: WHO issues draft guidance to test suspected spurious, falsely-labelled, falsified and counterfeit medicines

International - 01 November 2016

November 1st, 2016 - OMS

The World Health Organisation (WHO) issued in October 2016 a draft guidance to test suspected spurious/falsely-labelled/falsified/counterfeit (SFFC) medicines. It expects the industry to comment before January 10, 2017. This document provides technical guidance on laboratory testing of samples of suspected SFFC products detected on the market of WHO Member States and related aspects of sampling and reporting.

Communication/Conference: 10.2 billion euros each year is the economic cost of IPR infringement in the pharmaceutical sector

Europe - 29 September 2016

September 29th, 2016 - EUIPO - Report “The economic cost of IPR infringement in the pharmaceutical sector”

A study of the EUIPO (European Union Intellectual Property Office), published in September 2016, focuses on the economic impact of counterfeit medicines in the European Union marketplace and its wider costs to industry, government and society as a whole. Fake medicines cost the EU pharmaceutical sector 10.2 billion euros each year and the loss of 37,700 jobs. The study refers only to manufacturing and wholesale and does not include retailers such as pharmacies.

Communication/Conference: Almost 900,000 medicines and other products were led by EU Customs in 2015

Europe - 23 September 2016

September 23th, 2016 - Report on “EU customs enforcement of intellectual property rights - Results at the EU border 2015” European Commission

The report on the EU customs detentions of articles suspected of infringing intellectual property rights (IPR) in 2015 was published on 22 September 2016 by the European Commission. Last year, up to 80,000 detention cases were registered by Customs and over 40 million detained articles are concerned, the value of the equivalent genuine products is estimated to be just over 642 million euros. Regarding medicines and other products (condoms), 1,554 procedures were led for a total of 895,324 articles and a retail value of original goods of 12,392,626 euros.

The first countries of provenance are India (56.80%), China (18.06%) and Hong Kong (16.11%).

Internet: Not drugs, but poison: rumors on mass deaths of children from counterfeit medicines are spreading on social networks in Russia

Russia - 22 September 2016

September 22th, 2016 -

News about mass deaths of children due to counterfeit drugs spread at an incredible rate on social networks. Only in Moscow, twelve alleged cases would have occurred. A lot of people would have shared a post on social networks, urging parents to be vigilant and not to buy some drugs listed in the post (antibiotics, painkillers and homeopathics). From Moscow, those rumors have spread throughout Russia, and even to Kazakhstan and Azerbaijan. The Kazakh Ministry of Health had to make a formal denial. Such a situation would already have happened last year – also in the fall, and the text published in the online post would be identical.

Internet: NABP issued its report on rogue internet drug outlets and illegal purchase of medication online

United States - 03 August 2016

August 3rd, 2016 - NABP

The National Association of Boards of Pharmacy (NABP) released its Internet Drug Outlet Identification Program Progress Report for State and Federal Regulators in July 2016. NABP reviewed 11,299 online drug outlets selling prescription drugs and revealed that almost 96% have been classified as “not recommended” websites. The classification relates to websites out of compliance with State and Federal laws. They recommend to check the list of approved websites with .pharmacy domain name. See “Buying Safely” section at

Enforcement: A network of trafficking on fake and counterfeit drugs dismantled in Colombia

Colombia - 27 July 2016

July 27th, 2016 - El Colombiano

On 27 July 2016, Colombian police arrested 10 people suspected of being part of a gang smuggling and counterfeiting medicines. Among the fake drugs, the authorities reported having seized treatments against cancer, HIV-AIDS, contracptifs, almost 18 000 units worth 800 million pesos, or about UD$260.000. This network would be located in Bogota, Cucuta and Medellin. The counterfeits were produced in underground factories equipped with machines to copy and reproduce real packaging drugs, and machines to falsify expiry dates to remarket expired drugs.

Communication/Conference: Counterfeit prescription pills containing fentanyls: a global threat

United States - 22 July 2016

July 22nd, 2016 -

The DEA (Drug Enforcement Administration) published in July a report regarding the issue of counterfeit prescription pills introduced into the United States markets the last months, exacerbating the fentanyl and opioid crisis. Some of the pills contained deadly amounts of fentanyl, resulting in an increase in overdoses, deaths and opiate-dependent individuals.

Enforcement: Black market mixing real, fake and expired drugs

China - 16 July 2016

July - August, 2016 -

A CCTV program reports the case of Mr. Li (李师长), from Shiyan City, Hubei Province. As he wanted to buy Plavix for his father, he discovered a pharmacy selling the drug for 20 yuans. He bought several boxes, but saw that the pills were rapidly deteriorating. He alerted Shiyan city FDA, who identified them as counterfeits. Investigations revealed that the fake Plavix were probably sold by a certain Mr. Feng (冯), a 30-year-old Chinese citizen from Guizhou. The latter however claims that he ignored that the pills were fake, and the identity of the counterfeited drugs manufacturers remains unknown.

Communication/Conference: Conference on anti-counterfeiting and brand protection – Pharmasafe India 2016

India - 14 July 2016

July 14th, 2016 -

The conference PharmaSafe India 2016 on anti-counterfeiting and brand protection will be held on September 22-23 (Holiday Inn, Mumbai). It will bring together over 180 delegates and speakers (business leaders from top pharmaceutical companies, experts in anti-counterfeiting technology, government and regulatory authorities, customs, investigators, legal experts…) at a common platform to enable discussions, sharing of valuable insights, best practices, domestic and global trends and challenges as well as strategies to tackle the counterfeiting challenge. Pramod Bhatt, Shailesh Ayyangar and Edmond d’Arvieu from Sanofi are speakers at this event.

Enforcement: 39 fake vaccines found in almost 40 Indonesian medical facilities

Indonesia - 12 July 2016

July 12th, 2016 -

According to two articles issued by Securing Industry in June and July 2016, a massive fake vaccines racket has been dismantled in Indonesia late in June. After a three-month investigation, seventeen people have been arrested for their alleged involvement in this trafficking that lasted 10 years. At least 12 vaccines brands have been found as counterfeits, seized in 37 health facilities accross 9 provinces: South Sumatra, Lampung, Banten, Jakarta, West Java, East Java, Bangka Belitung, Riau and Riau Islands.

“Meanwhile, the country’s Health Ministry believes at least 197 children had been given fake vaccines and will now roll out a revaccination programme”, said SecuringIndustry.

Communication/Conference: IRACM and CNAC mobilize for the battle against the worldwide blight of counterfeit medicines

France - 20 June 2016

June 20th, 2016 -

The international Institute of Research Against Counterfeit Medicine (IRACM) and the National Anti-Counterfeiting Committee (CNAC) presented a conference - debate on 20 June 2016 in Paris entitled "The Counterfeiting of Medicines in France: Myth or Reality". Numerous international experts participated in the event, held in the presence of Senator Richard Yung and French Ambassador Jean-David Levitte, also President of the Board of Directors of IRACM.

Three round tables were held to examine drug counterfeiting in France, in Europe and in the world. They shed light on obstacles and bottlenecks that have hampered the battle against medical counterfeiting over the past ten years. A significant advancement toward resolving these issues is the Medicrime Convention, but this latter is still awaiting implementation.

Internet: Pangea IX targets the sale of fake medicines on the internet and takes down 4,932 illicit pharmaceutical websites

France - 09 June 2016

June 9th, 2016 -

The international operation Pangea IX was held 30 May through 7 June 2016 with the mission of fighting the illegal sale of medicines on the internet. This Interpol-coordinated event, the largest of its kind, has been deployed yearly across numerous countries since 2008. It draws the participation of close to 200 police, customs and health regulations agencies as well as private businesses such as Sanofi.

The 2016 Operation Pangea IX involved 103 countries and resulted in 393 arrests worldwide and the seizure of US$53 million worth of potentially dangerous medications, among which were fake cancer medications, non-conform HIV/AIDS screening tests and diabetes tests, counterfeited dental materials and illicit surgical equipment.

In France, 961,192 illicit health products and 1,422 kilograms of bulk health products were seized by customs during the operation. Comprised therein were mainly medications without French marketing authorization (580,000) counterfeited health products (close to 190,000 tablets), and medicines used outside of their medical indications as narcotics (more than 30,000 doses).

More than 77% of the seized products came from Asia (primarily India, 64.22%).

Photo credit: Interpol

Communication/Conference: Sanofi's major international initiatives in the fight against counterfeit medicines

France - 08 June 2016

June 8th, 2016 -

Medical counterfeiting lurks in many corners: the internet, in African markets, even in the jackleg pharmacies of some developing countries. Counterfeiting is a worldwide problem affecting public health everywhere and causing hundreds of thousands of deaths every year.

It is for these reasons that major healthcare entities such as Sanofi join their forces with those of nations to find solutions to counterfeiting and ensure the shared goal of protecting the health of patients. Sanofi thus contributes to the yearly Operation Pangea coordinated by Interpol, by bringing its support to legislations deployed locally and internationally, such as the Medicrime Convention, implementing simple and effective means to strengthen the protection of its products, and, since 2008, analyzing suspicious products collected from numerous countries in its Central Anti-Counterfeiting Laboratory in Tours. The Sanofi Group also participates in numerous events and conferences across the globe to raise public awareness and knowledge on this growing bane.

Communication/Conference: Sanofi Anti-Counterfeiting Day mobilizes Group affiliates for the fight

France - 06 June 2016

June 6th, 2016 -

Again this year, Sanofi held its international Anti-Counterfeiting Day in most of its affiliates to continue a mission of informing its employees of the dangers of faked medicines and their trafficking across the globe.

This day designed to increase awareness and knowledge was held on 6 June 2016 at the Sanofi headquarters in Paris and thereafter repeated throughout the Group’s affiliates. Anti-Counterfeiting Day is an opportunity to review the major initiatives deployed to rein in the threat of fake drugs, for both the group and the world. The event provides employees with the knowledge they need to understand this scourge and increase the awareness of their friends and families as to the progression of counterfeiting in the market and on the web and its significant impact on public health, including its role in the deaths of hundreds of thousands of people each year.

To fight this battle, the main stakeholders in healthcare are committing and organizing. Over the past decade, the international community has worked to identify distribution networks, seize faked products, increase public awareness and diffuse facts, and it will continue to do so for as long as it takes.

Legislation: The Medicrime Convention will be ratified by France and Belgium soon

France - 19 May 2016

May 19th, 2016 -

Belgium adopted the law ratifying the Medicrime Convention on 12 May 2016, just before France who did it on May 19. Before the end of 2016, these two countries should ratify the first international instrument in the criminal law field on counterfeiting of medical products and similar crimes involving threats to public health.

The Medicrime Convention is a Council of Europe international criminal law treaty. The 47 states in Europe that are members of the Council of Europe, as well as states in other regions of the world, can sign and ratify the Convention and thus join the international co-operation under the Convention.

Enforcement: Seizure of 67 website domain names involved in selling misbranded and counterfeit prescription drugs in the US

United States - 26 April 2016

April 26th, 2016 -

On April 26, seizure orders against 67 domain names of commercial websites engaged in the illegal sale and distribution of counterfeit and prescription drugs were executed late in April 2016. The seized domains are in the custody of the federal government.

The US Attorney Bill Nettles said “to be safe and effective, prescription drugs must be taken under the care and supervision of appropriate health care professionals; not purchased off the internet from unknown and unregulated foreign sources.”

Legislation: The Turkish Parliament has drafted a law to toughen sanctions against counterfeit criminals

Turkey - 21 April 2016

April 21st, 2016 -

Thanks to a Turkish Penal Code dated 2004, the counterfeiting is already being penalized in Turkey with an emprisonment of 5 years maximum under articles 186 & 187. In addition to this, the Turkish Republic had signed the Convention Medicrime of the Council of Europe regarding the counterfeit of medicinal products on 29 June 2012. The Council is encouraging and obliging the countries to execute serious precautions and legal/criminal sanctions against the counterfeit criminals.

The Turkish Parliament had already drafted a legislation to put in force but the law had not been approved yet, thus the law is not yet effective. To date, a draft law process seems under evaluation.

Communication/Conference: In Russia, 2.2 million packages of substandard and counterfeit drugs withdrawn from circulation in 2015

Russia - 18 April 2016

April 18th, 2016 -

Employees of the Federal Service for Supervision in the health sector (Roszdravnadzor) withdrew nearly 2.2 million packages of substandard and counterfeit medicines from circulation in 2015. This figure was announced at the final meeting of the board of Roszdravnadzor by the head of the agency, Mikhail Murashko. He noted that 62.9% substandard medicines identified were manufactured in Russia.

Communication/Conference: Counterfeit and pirated trade weigh heavily on the European economy

Europe - 18 April 2016

April 18th, 2016 - “Trade in Counterfeit and Pirated Goods: Mapping the Economic Impact”

According to the OECD and EUIPO study published on April 18, 2016, the counterfeit and pirated products accounts for USD 461 billion in world trade in 2013 - about 2.5% of total world trade - the equivalent of the GDP of Austria. We can discover the American, Italian and French brands are the most affected by counterfeiting and part of the proceeds fuels organized crime. Up to 5% of goods imported into the European Union are counterfeit, which mostly originate in "middle-income or emerging countries, China being the largest producer." Apparently, still according to the report, the phenomenon has evolved over the last decade.

In the 2011-13 seizures, the United States were the most affected by intellectual property rights infringement with a rate of 20%, followed by Italy (14.6%), France (12.1%) and Switzerland (11.7%).

The counterfeiting of medicines is also singled out in the report for threatening the lives of the consumers-patients. It is also reported that a large volume of counterfeit goods is shipped by mail or express related to purchases made on the internet, and particularly via e-commerce solutions.

Communication/Conference: Preventing the illegal sale of “Ticafrani” in Ivory Coast

Ivory Coast - 18 April 2016

April 18th, 2016 -

The Office of the Inspector General of the Global Fund, in partnership with the Ministry of Health and Public Hygiene of Côte d'Ivoire, announced the launch of an anti-corruption campaign called “J'en parle maintenant !” (“I Speak Out Now!”). One of the campaign’s targets is linked to the “Products issues”: it aims at raising awareness of the dangers of taking medicines purchased in the markets without proper medical prescription. Through public service announcements on national radio and in the media, the campaign is based on the work of the foundation Chirac by using its slogan “Le médicament de la rue tue !” (“Street medicine kills!”).

Enforcement: 76,000 counterfeit tablets of an opioid analgesic seized in Quebec

Quebec - 18 April 2016

April 18th, 2016 -

After twelve investigations conducted in Quebec between March 1 and April 8, 2016, the police seized 76,000 counterfeit tablets of Fentanyl1 worth $ 1.5 million. Five suspects were arrested in Quebec City.

1 Fentanyl is an opioid analgesic.

Communication/Conference: Sanofi contributed to the 4th OECD Task Force meeting on Countering Illicit Trade

France - 18 April 2016

April 18th, 2016 -

On 18 Avril 2016, Sanofi was invited to speak during the “4th OECD Task Force meeting on Countering Illicit Trade” about the impact of fake medicines on public health and the key activities conducted by Sanofi concerning the fight against drug counterfeiting on the Internet.

Technology: ProCheck debuts text message verification of drugs in Pakistan

Pakistan - 13 April 2016

April 13th, 2016 -

Start-up company ProCheck has started protecting medicinal products in Pakistan from counterfeiting using SMS verification technology. The company has deployed serialized codes on packs of medicines sold in Pakistan by local drugmaker Ferozsons Laboratories, focusing initially on several products for high blood pressure and diabetes. Each of the packs bears a unique code that can be texted to a number (9900) in order to get confirmation within a few seconds of whether the medicine pack is authentic or fake.

Communication/Conference: German fake drug seizures quadrupled in 2015

Germany - 12 April 2016

April 12th, 2016 -

The German Customs published their performance results in 2015. The number of illegal or fake pills confiscated at the German border increased fourfold to 3.9 million in 2015. In the past year, the focus has been on medicines sold online. The products seized are not only steroids, erectile dysfunction, slimness and hair growth products, but also sedatives and sleeping pills. Confiscated pharmaceutical substances came predominantly from China, while finished products were often from India, China, Thailand and eastern EU member states.

Communication/Conference: New strategy to fight falsified medicines in Spain in 2016-2019

Spain - 11 April 2016

April 11th, 2016 -

The Spanish Agency for Medicines and Medical Devices (AEMPS) published its new strategy for 2016-2019 to fight falsified medicines, promote the development of actions by all stakeholders and better protect patients against the risks linked to this phenomenon.

Communication/Conference: The Medicrime Convention soon ratified in France

France - 06 April 2016

April 6th, 2016 -

In France, the bill authorizing the ratification of the Medicrime Convention of the Council of Europe on the counterfeiting of medical products and similar crimes involving threats to public health will be discussed in second reading in the National Assembly on 12 May 2016.

As a reminder, this bill was adopted in first reading in the Senate on December 17, 2015.

Communication/Conference: Great mobilization of the Academies and Orders of medicine, pharmacy and veterinary against the scourge of counterfeit medicines

France - 05 April 2016

April 5th, 2016 - AFP

On April 5, 2016, in Paris, the three French scientific Academies were mobilized against the scourge of counterfeit medicines. The Academy of Medicine, the Academy of Pharmacy and the Veterinary Academy and the three Orders organized a conference to alert the public about the seriousness of the risks of falsified medicines, booming in France and worldwide.

The announcement of this conference came as France and other European countries are planning to ratify the Medicrime Convention of the Council of Europe on the counterfeiting of medical products and similar crimes involving threats to public health. Today, only six countries have ratified the Convention: Armenia, Hungary, Moldova, Spain, Ukraine and Guinea1.

After the conference, a common manifesto which calls for international prevention and enforcement measures - considered too low today - was signed and will be presented to the French Health Minister, Marisol Touraine. The six French organizations define the pharmaceutical crime as terrorism and call for the same sanctions to be applied.

According to the three Academies, the population is not well informed on the matter and would benefit of a larger communication. Sanofi supports this initiative which is part of the implementation of concrete actions against the criminals who manufacture and sell fake medicines, and threaten global public health.

1Chart of signatures and ratifications.

Communication/Conference: According to a report, 58% of counterfeiting cases involve pharmaceutical establishments

Peru - 04 April 2016

April 4th, 2016 -

A new retrospective review on counterfeit medicines in Peru (1997–2014) aims at consolidating and assessing information on counterfeit medicines subject to pharmaceutical alerts issued by the Peruvian Medicines Regulatory Authority over 18 years (1997–2014) of health monitoring and enforcement.

A total of 669 DIGEMID alerts were issued during the study period, 354 (52.91%) of which cover 1,738 cases of counterfeit:

  • 1,010 cases (58.11%) involved pharmaceutical establishments;
  • and 349 (20.08%) involved non-pharmaceutical commercial outlets.
  • In 126 cases (7.25%), counterfeit medicines were seized in an unauthorized trade (without any marketing authorization).
  • In 253 cases (14.56%) the type of establishment or business associated with the seized product was not identified.

Enforcement: Dismantling of two clandestine laboratories in Honduras

Honduras - 02 April 2016

April 2nd, 2016 -

Two clandestine laboratories dedicated to medicines manufacturing were raided on April 1st, 2016 by the Honduran authorities in Colonia Cantarero López, Tegucigalpa. The owner, Melvin Rolando Garcia Betanco, was arrested and numerous products were seized including medicines without labels, plastic bottles, raw material and boxes.

Communication/Conference: Zentiva in Nigeria to provide population with access to affordable and quality drugs

Nigeria - 01 April 2016

April 1st, 2016 -

The website announces the launch of Zentiva in Nigeria and highlights the counterfeiting issue in connection with the access to medicines in this country. Africa is the region the most affected by fake medicines, and specifically sub-Saharan Africa where 30% of medicines are counterfeit, adulterated, substandard, illegally imported or mislabeled.

Nigeria is therefore facing a high level of trafficking in counterfeit drugs probably rated between 30 to 60%. However, the health authority in the country, NAFDAC, is proactive and regularly seizes and arrests counterfeiters or resellers. People have very limited or no access to essential and good quality care, and are usually victims of serious infectious diseases such as malaria, tuberculosis and HIV-AIDS. In this context, it was urgent for Sanofi to help this country particularly affected by this scourge by implementing a production site with safer generic drugs for Nigerian and regional patients. The generic medicines are legal copies of “princeps” drugs with lower cost. They remain high quality medicines.

The Director of Sanofi Nigeria-Ghana, Abderrahmane Chikabi, said "Zentiva is a Sanofi company and is the third leader in the field of generics. Zentiva produces and distributes cost-effective generic medicines approved by NAFDAC, and thus provides quality care to patients in the whole region. Zentiva offers a broad portfolio of generic drugs covering all major therapeutic areas: cardiovascular, female health, respiratory, anti-infectives and anti-fungals, urology, central nervous system, pain and gastrointestinal."

Enforcement: Counterfeit tablets of an opioid analgesic seized in Sacramento that caused the death of 9 people

United States - 01 April 2016

April 1st, 2016 -

Federal authorities in San Francisco issued a public safety alert that several individuals in the Sacramento area have died from a counterfeit drug bought in the street. Fentanyl is a 80 times more potent painkiller than morphine. The Drug Enforcement Administration is trying to track down the source.

Communication/Conference: Clinigen joins both ASOP EU and EAASM to protect patients from the threat of counterfeit drugs

United States - 29 March 2016

March 29th, 2016 -

Clinigen Group plc becomes a full member of the European Alliance for Access to Safe Medicines (EAASM) and Alliance for Safe Online Pharmacy in the EU (ASOP EU), both aiming to protect patients from the dangers of falsified or counterfeit drugs.

Enforcement: Istanbul police seized half a ton of counterfeit drugs

Turkey - 23 March 2016

March 23rd, 2016 -

The anti-smuggling and organized crime branch of the Istanbul police arrested a 37-year-old woman and seized over 1,500 boxes of counterfeit drugs which supposedly helped weight loss. The suspect, found in the district of Basaksehir, reported having imported herbal powders from Iran and Romania. She is suspected of selling them illegally on the Internet using fake labels.

Enforcement: Seizure of 3 tons of illicit medicines in Cameroon

Cameroon - 23 March 2016

March 23rd, 2016 -

More than three tons of smuggled drugs from neighboring Nigeria were destroyed in Bamenda in March 2016. The products, worth 500 million CFA francs, are the result of the intensification of border controls. They were manufactured in South Africa, Brazil, India and Nigeria.

Communication/Conference: French customs issued a significant decrease of counterfeit medicines seized in France in 2015

France - 17 March 2016

March 17th, 2016 -

Among 7.7 million counterfeit items seized by French Customs in 2015, "only" 173,385 counterfeit medicines were seized. The clothes are the main counterfeit seizures (761,542), followed by shoes (595,160), mobile phones (528,925) and games, toys and sporting items (460,796).

2014 was a record year with 2,580,793 counterfeit drugs impacted by the interception of 2.4 million counterfeit drugs in Le Havre in February 2014. The year of 2013 has also allowed the interception of 1,354,705 counterfeit medicines and over 1.2 million in Le Havre in May. Those two years had scored two exceptional successive seizures on the French territory.

Enforcement: 19 pharmacies closed for counterfeiting in Dominican Republic

Dominican Republic - 17 March 2016

March 17th, 2016 -

The Directorate General of Drugs, Food and Medical Devices (DIGEMAPS) definitively closed 19 pharmacies and drug distributors for the crime of smuggling, counterfeiting and adulteration of medicines. Four establishments were operating illegally and the others did not respect good manufacturing practices.

Legislation: A European regulation adopted on the packaging of medicinal products for human use will apply from 2019

Europe - 16 March 2016

March 16th, 2016 -

The regulation governing the identification of medicine packaging lays down the characteristics and technical specifications of the unique identifier to verify the authenticity of medicines and identify the individual packs. The unique identifier consists of a product code and a serial number. This unique identifier is part of a two-dimensional barcode (Data Matrix) also containing a batch number and expiry date of the medicine, and if necessary a national reimbursement number. The EU directive requires the integrity of the secondary packaging which must be fitted with an anti-tampering device.

The manufacturers will evaluate the Data Matrix quality of printing and print on the packaging (in a human-readable format) the product code, serial number, batch number, expiry date and national reimbursement number when necessary.

In case of suspected falsification, the pharmacist or persons authorized or entitled to supply medicinal products to the public will verify the safety features and will inform the relevant competent authorities.

The regulation will entry into force on February 9, 2019.

Read the Official Journal of the European Union L32 of Feb. 9, 2016: “Commission Delegated Regulation (EU) 2016/161 of 2 October 2015 supplementing Directive 2001/83/EC of the European Parliament and of the Council by laying down detailed rules for the safety features appearing on the packaging of medicinal products for human use.”

Legislation: China Supreme Court supervised 81 cases involving counterfeit drugs or food

China - 15 March 2016

March 15th, 2016 -

According to the specialized information platform Legal China, the Chinese Supreme Court handled 81cases in relation with counterfeit drugs and/or food, while 1,646 cases were handled countrywide, leading to the prosecution of 13,240 persons. The report also states that in 2015, the Supreme People's Procuratorate deployed a two-year special oversight activity, focused on unsafe and fake drugs and foods, which is supposed to play a deterrent role.

This report was also discussed in early March during the “Two Assemblies” or “lianghui”, the annual meeting that conveys the National People's Congress, China’s legislative body and the Chinese People's Political Consultative Conference, a consultative body that gathers representatives from the different provinces, and economic sectors, to discuss China’s main concerns and offer policy suggestions.

Enforcement: Counterfeit botulinum toxin imported from Hong Kong

Taiwan - 13 March 2016

March 13th, 2016 -

A package labelled as containing 11 boxes of botulinum toxin type A product sent from Hong Kong was intercepted by the Customs Administration in Taiwan. The packaging of the counterfeit goods looked very similar to the genuine goods but the components did not contain botulinum toxin type A, and the brand name on the box was “Allercan”.

Enforcement: Several tons of fake medicines incinerated in Guinea

Guinea - 12 March 2016

March 12th, 2016 -

Hundred tons of illicit and counterfeit medicines like antimalarial syrup and pills to treat parasites with no ingredient were incinerated on March 11, 2016 in Guinea. Fifty four tons were seized in the port of Conakry alone, and the other part was taken in the streets of Conakry.

Internet: Efforts are made in China to tackle the counterfeit drugs sold via an online platform

China - 10 March 2016

March 10th, 2016 -

According to the Chinese Health authority, Yunnan province has started making a special effort on tackling the counterfeit drug selling problems via the internet. The provincial authorities are implementing four policies including the strengthening of the leadership on dealing with the investigation, strengthen the daily supervision on monitoring the internet illegal drugs publication, focus on the information provided by the internet complaints and start promotion, guidance and warning activities on the counterfeit and illegal drugs issues for Chinese citizens.

Legislation: How to protect yourself from counterfeit medicines in Ukraine?

Ukraine - 07 March 2016

March 7th, 2016 -

The new bill of the Ministry of Economic Development (toughening responsibility for the violation of intellectual property rights) will have a negative impact on the pricing policy on the pharmaceutical market in Ukraine, in which about 30% of medications are fake.

According to Ruslan Svitlyn, director of a pharmacy network, this bill could lead to higher prices on the black market and will affect primarily the pharmaceutical market. These counterfeit products are mainly imported from Russia, Bulgaria, Romania and Turkey. Because of a memorandum, control on medication has not been applied for 2 or 3 years, at the same time there has been a constant increase of the prices of medicines. According to Ruslan Svitlyn, the most counterfeit drugs in Ukraine are the most popular drugs in the retail network: medication for hypertension, for cardiovascular system problems, for children.

According to Evgeniy Loktionovoy, Director of the Company Ukrainian Trade Guild, the adoption of the bill will not destroy the market of illegal products. This bill will only increase the price of bribes, and increase the price of counterfeit goods on average (20% to a maximum of 25%). He stated that the illegal market will continue to exist due to the fact that, today, there is a huge difference between the prices of genuine and counterfeit goods. The difference can be up to 70-80% and even more.

Communication/Conference: The CIOPF offers an e-learning to know more about falsified medicines

France - 04 March 2016

March 4th, 2016 -

The International Conference of Francophone Pharmacists Associations (CIOPF) provides an e-learning on falsified medicines launched in 2015, whose publishers are TRACMED and the Merieux Foundation. Two modules are proposed in open access in English and French: the first module is an introduction to the problem of falsified medicinal products; and the second is on prevention, detection and reporting.

Through the GLOBE (Global Link for Online Biomedical Expertise) portal, the two interactive modules offer healthcare professionals and scientists with information to fight against falsified medicines, especially in Africa.

Communication/Conference: Warning in Switzerland on counterfeit hepatitis C medicines discovered in Israel

Switzerland - 03 March 2016

March 3rd, 2016 -

On March 3rd, 2016, Swissmedic, the Swiss Health agency, has issued a warning on counterfeit packs of the preparation Harvoni® discovered in Israel. This drug is dedicated to treat chronic hepatitis C in adults. The seized plastic bottles contain white film-coated tablets instead of yellow (genuine). These counterfeit drugs are originate in India and imported via a Swiss trading company.

This treatment is expensive in Switzerland and patients prefer to buy it on line. Swissmedic recalls to not purchase medicines from unknown sources and especially to be careful on the internet.

Legislation: Seven years imprisonment for manufacture, distribution and sale of fake drugs in Nigeria

Nigeria - 03 March 2016

March 3rd, 2016 -

On 2 March 2016, the Federal High Court in Lagos has sentenced a woman, 35, to seven years in prison and NGN 50,000 fine (or $252) for manufacture, distribution and sale of fake drugs. She was selling, among others, an antibacterial antibiotic anti-parasite of the nitro-5-imidazole family. A laboratory analysis demonstrated this was a counterfeit drug.

The accused pleaded for mercy and said she was not informed of the non-compliance of the drugs. The investigators have yet discovered she was a graduate of microbiology and manufactured them herself.

Communication/Conference: Fake drugs for animals in Brazil reach 15% of the market

Brazil - 01 March 2016

March 1st, 2016 -

According to the Association of National Pharmaceutical Laboratories (Alanac), counterfeiting has reached 15% of the market of veterinary products. The products are not only for pets but also for cattle, pigs, horses and poultry. Some of these drugs are manufactured in the country while another part is smuggled.

Legislation: The CFDA suppresses the state-owned drug electronic supervision system in China

China - 21 February 2016

February 21st, 2016 -

On February 20, 2016, the China Food and Drug Administration (CFDA) announced that it will gave up the “drug electronic supervision number” (药品电子监管码) system. This 20-digit number was delivered by the CFDA and acted like an ID enabling the CFDA to retrieve all product information (regulatory, manufacturing, composition and expiration data). Some people thought that the drug electronic supervision number was useless since it overlapped with other numbers, such as the bar code, serial number and registered number of approval. Chinese drug manufacturers also complained it created additional printing costs and forced them to purchase a new equipment to do so. Nevertheless, many people were surprised since this number system was useful for the government to check products in case of problem or crisis, and conduct anti-counterfeiting actions. It seems that the main reason that drove the Chinese State decision was to increase the drug manufacturer’s responsibility and encourage them to improve their traceability practices, so that the whole system will rely less on Chinese administrations.

This announcement significantly affects Alibaba’s future plans for selling drugs online. The database was created and operated by Citic 21CN, a pharmaceutical data firm in which Alibaba took a controlling stake in 2014, and renamed Alibaba Health Information Technology Ltd. As the company played a key role in monitoring pharmaceuticals in China, it was an important argument for Alibaba to ensure the safety of drugs sold on Alibaba website (maybe prescription drugs in the future).

Legislation: A new law soon to be enacted in Algeria to eradicate counterfeiting

Algeria - 20 February 2016

February 20th, 2016 -

To clean up the market from counterfeit medicines and other types of fraud, a new law will be enacted in the coming months in Algeria. It aims at tightening controls on importers and local manufacturers involved in the national medicines market.

Enforcement: A group of fake drugs sellers exposed in Chelyabinsk

Russia - 17 February 2016

February 17th, 2016 -

32 members of a criminal group who extorted money to elderly and disabled people by selling expensive medications had to be judged soon. It would have been founded in 2007 by 2 men from Chelyabinsk and 2 men from Moscow who established a firm in Chelyabinsk specialized in the sale of expensive medicines. Their company, which in fact sold dietary supplements and non-certified products, was only looking for lonely elderly and disabled people in a difficult situation.

Between 2007 and 2010, the group would have managed to extort a total of 13.8 million rubles from 217 residents of Chelyabinsk, Sverdlovsk and Kirov regions.

Enforcement: Market flooded with spurious and fake medicines in Bangladesh

Bangladesh - 06 February 2016

February 6th, 2016 -

The markets in Bangladesh are flooded with fake and spurious medicines but there is no arrangement for protecting the affected patients. According to the Drug Administration Department sources, 1,189 cases were filed on the charges of importing, hoarding and selling illegal, spurious or smuggled medicines from January to 13th December 2015. During this period, 31 people were sentenced. The problems will be solved, at least partially, if the “National Drug Policy”, currently on-going, is approved and implemented by the government.

Enforcement: Huge anti-counterfeiting operation in Guangdong province

China - 05 February 2016

February 5th, 2016 -

In February 2016, Guangdong and Shenzhen Food & Drug Departments launched an operation against online sale of counterfeit medicines. It led to the identification of 14 cases. Overall, the authorities found 15 manufacturing workshops, arrested 17 suspects, and seized 40 sorts of drugs for a total value of 30 million yuans (or almost USD4,630,000).

The China Food and Drug Administration (CFDA) released the name of 12 companies that were used to sell the fake medicines: Tibet Tanggula Julong Biotech Co., Ltd; Hong Kong Julong Biotech Co., Ltd; American High-tech Biotech Institute; Hong Kong Sanniu Biopharma (International) Group Ltd; Guizhou Lipanshui City Xingda Drug & Health Products Co., Ltd; American California Ouhua Pharmacy; Hong Kong Longwei Biotech Co., Ltd; Hong Kong Jiulong Herbal Medicine Group Co., Ltd; Hong Kong Weixin Biotech Co., Ltd; Guangdong Shenzhen Yisheng Biotech Co., Ltd; Hong Kong Tianlong Biotech (International) Group Limited and Tibet Nima Biotech Co., Ltd.

Enforcement: 5 clandestine laboratories dismantled and 750,000 tablets seized in Portugal

Portugal - 03 February 2016

February 3rd, 2016 -

The Operation Underground Pharma led by the Judicial Police achieved to dismantle 5 clandestine laboratories manufacturing anabolic products. They have seized 750,000 tablets and 50,000 injectable forms as well as falsified medicines bought on the black market and raw materials for the production of medicines.

Communication/Conference: 90% of internet pharmacies identified by the NABP classified as "Not recommended site"

United States - 01 February 2016

February 1st 2016 -

The National Association of Boards of Pharmacy (NABP) issued January 29, 2016 a report entitled "Internet Drug Outlet Identification Program - Progress Report for State and Federal Regulators: January 2016". This one focuses on the fight against illegal drug sales sites accessible in the US and provides recent figures of this phenomenon. Of the 10,668 sites identified by the NABP, 90% do not comply and are classified as "not recommended" by NABP. 60% of these stores online "not recommended" hide their address on the website. In addition, over 50% of malicious web sites provide drugs that are foreign or not approved by the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) of the United States and 90% of them seem to have affiliations with mafia networks selling drugs on the internet.

Enforcement: Illegal pharmaceutical products seized in Spanish police raids

Spain - 29 January 2016

January 29th, 2016 -

During the joint Operation Mazinger, the Guardia Civil dismantled a criminal international network dedicated to manufacturing, counterfeiting and distribution of forbidden products in the sport market. Investigations started in 2015 had revealed a network linked to a Spanish criminal gang. Since the operation began, police have searched 28 homes and other premises in Malaga, Alicante and Murcia, arresting 37 people and seizing 70,000 doses of illegal medicines in addition to 120 kilos of products, including steroids, hormones and sexual enhancers.

Communication/Conference: Unifab issues a report on the link between counterfeiting and terrorism

France - 29 January 2016

January 29th, 2016 -

The Union des Fabricants (UNIFAB) published an interesting report in January which aims to provide an insight on the link between terrorism and counterfeiting, as well as demonstrating this illegal activity is one of the favorite activities for financing terrorist actions. For example, the counterfeiting of medicines is quoted in link with the IRA (Irish Republican Army) and with the Hezbollah.

Legislation: In Russia, the Governor of Tomsk proposed to judge the counterfeit of medicines as a murder

Russia - 25 January 2016

January 25th, 2016 -

Sergey Zhvachkin, Governor of Tomsk, proposed to consider manufacturers of counterfeit medicines as murderers during trials, and to judge them accordingly. He expressed this view during the first session of the regional commission on counteraction against illegal circulation of industrial products: “We have cases of alcohol poisoning, and, very often, counterfeit medicines. Thus, I propose to consider toughening liabilities for the production of counterfeit related to the life of people (medicines, food). I would like that those who are engaged in the falsification and production of counterfeit medicine would be included in the group of articles of the Criminal Code pertaining to the judgment of a murder. There are cases where such people are fined and keep on doing their activities. I propose to consider such a possibility in terms of law and to submit to the government and to the parliament a proposal to toughen the punishment for the counterfeit of goods of food and pharmaceutical industries”. According to the same article, the Deputy Governor in charge of the industrial policy, Nikolay Glebovich, stated that in 2014 more than two million packages of substandard and counterfeit medicines had been withdrawn from circulation.

Legislation: Spain and Latin America united against the sale of fake drugs on the internet

Spain - 22 January 2016

January 22th 2016 -

The Spanish Agency of Medicines and Health products (AEMPS) has signed an agreement with health authorities in Mexico, Paraguay, Colombia and El Salvador to fight together against illegal sale of medicines on the internet. The MoU foresees the establishment of an Observatory which aims to monitor the commercialization, promotion and advertising of medicines on the internet. This international cooperation should develop legal mechanisms deployed against this scourge. The issue is, as illustrated by international organization data’s (WHO, the United Nations, INTERPOL), more and more alarming. Indeed, the sale of counterfeit products constitute the third most lucrative business in the world while it directly affects public health and is very complex to combat.

Internet: CSIP published a report on the Internet pharmacy market in 2016

United States - 15 January 2016

January 15th, 2016 -

The report “The Internet Pharmacy Market in 2016: Trends, Challenges and Opportunities” was commissioned by the Center for Safe Internet Pharmacies (CSIP) and prepared by Legitscript in order to give CSIP members and other stakeholders an understanding of the current trends and challenges in the Internet pharmacy market.

This report also illustrates the impact of zero-tolerance policies on illegal activity and how companies are protecting consumer health and safety through their work to block unsafe sites, collaborate with law enforcement, and educate consumers.

Communication/Conference: The EU supports the Senegal in the fight against trafficking of fake drugs

Senegal - 12 January 2016

January 12th, 2016 -

The European Union (EU) and the Government of Senegal launched the REPT-Falsified Medicines project (or Responding Effectively to the Production of and Trafficking in falsified medicines) on January 12 in Dakar, Senegal. The activity of this project will focus on cooperation in the fight against trafficking in fake drugs (2014-2017). Besides Senegal, the project covers Cameroon, Ghana, Jordan and Morocco. The project aims at supporting the judicial authorities, police and other regulatory entities. One of the first actions in Senegal is to train 33 pharmacists inspectors.

Communication/Conference: The deployment of the project REPT (Respond effectively to the production and trafficking of falsified medicines) by training Senegalese pharmacists

Africa - 12 January 2016

January 12th 2016 -

To effectively fight against illicit trafficking of drugs in Senegal, thirty pharmacists will be trained during the month of January 2016. This initiative follows the launch of the European project "Responding effectively to the production and trafficking of falsified medicines" (REPT) funded by the European Union and operating in five countries (Jordan, Morocco, Ghana, Cameroon and Senegal). This project aims to help organizations such as the Ministries of Health and Social Action, Justice, the Interior, the Armed Forces and of Economy and Finance to fight against falsified medicines. Professor Amadou Moctar Dièye, pharmacist and director of pharmacy and medicine, highlights the fact that in case of taking fake drugs, the disease may get worse as well as the risk of death.


Enforcement: More than nine million falsified and illicit pharmaceuticals seized during the Operation Storm VI

Asia - 21 December 2015

December 21th 2015 -

Operation Storm VI, coordinated by Interpol, was held from 1 to 30 September 2015 in 13 countries in Asia (Afghanistan, Cambodia, China, Indonesia, Laos, Malaysia, Myanmar, Pakistan, Philippines, Singapore, Thailand and Vietnam) including Storm enforcement network support and the Philippines National Police. This operation resulted in the seizure of more than 9 million falsified and illicit drugs, the arrest of 87 individuals and investigations in over 500 pharmacies and markets as well as some hundreds of illicit online pharmacy websites.

Communication/Conference: Fake drugs sold on the streets of Lome, true gangrene of society

Togo - 09 December 2015

December 9th 2015 -

According to an article from the website, fake anti-malaria and anti-tuberculosis would be the cause of 700,000 deaths per year worldwide which represent more than one death per minute. In Togo, medicines such as painkillers, cough suppressants, antibiotics and antimalarial are available in the streets. A program broadcast on the channel "Media Africa" revealed the method of manufacture paracetamol from cassava in some areas of the Prefecture of Kloto (Togo). The purchase of streets’ drugs shows that the local population does not have the reflex to go and buy medicines in a pharmacy. In addition, pharmacists mostly require a doctor's prescription to deliver the drug which discourages patients from going through the official channel.

Enforcement: Dismantling a counterfeit medicines network in Bogota

Colombia - 07 December 2015

December 7th 2015 -

Bogota Metropolitan Police and the Attorney General's Office conducted an investigation which led to the discovery of a network of 34 counterfeiters masquerading as pharmacists or legal site managers. Medicines used to treat serious diseases have been falsified and sold with an expired date by these counterfeiters who marketed them in 18 pharmacies mostly located nearby clinics and hospitals of the capital. According to the investigation’s results, counterfeiters carrying falsified medicines from Venezuela passed through Cucuta (Colombia) to finally arrive in Bogota.

Communication/Conference: In the Philippines, the presence of counterfeit medicines is at “an alarming stage”

Philippines - 23 November 2015

November 23rd 2015 -

The press conference organized as part of the “National Consciousness Week Against Counterfeit Medicines” provided an opportunity to address the issue of fake medicines. A member of the Department of Health (DOH) of Philippines stated that this scourge is badly expanding and becoming a serious concern both for governments and pharmaceutical industry. Moreover, he explained that counterfeiting is not a simple crime and became one of the most lucrative income sources for pharmaceutical terrorists and crime networks. The credibility of governments but also of the industry is coming into question.

Legislation: Toward higher penalties of fake medicines trade in Israel

Israel - 13 November 2015

November 13th 2015 -

Counterfeit medicines are a well-known scourge in Israel. Indeed, the Ministry of Health has reported, in the last few years, a string of incidents including the presence in the supply chain of fake drugs very resembling genuine drugs. To address this public health threat, a bill is currently being discussed by Israel government. It changes the maximum prison sentence applied to the traffic of counterfeit, stolen or expired medicines from six months to three years.

Communication/Conferences: The place of purchase medicines, clues as to the authenticity of products

El Salvador - 12 November 2015

November 12th 2015 -

The Newspaper La Prensa Grafica gave, in a recent article, tips to distinguish fake medicines and real drugs, counterfeit drugs representing a latent health’s risk. Falsified medicines can be found in shops or street markets that are outside of traditional distribution networks, which give an indication as to the questionable origin of the products and their risks of causing violence to life. Indeed, a WHO (World Health Organization) report explained that the use of fake medicines with misleading labeling, forced or imitated may result in treatment failure or, under worst-case, patients’ death.

Legislation: Medicrime convention, a binding international instrument in the service of the protection of fake drugs’ victims

Europe - 01 October 2015

October 1st 2015 -

Medicrime Convention, the first international treaty to establish a criminal legal framework to prevent and combat threats to public health, has been signed by 24 countries and ratified by 5 countries. Its entry into is scheduled for the first January 2015. The mission of this binding international instrument's, according to the Council of Europe, to counter cases of counterfeit medical products and similar crimes which undetermine public trust in healthcare systems and authorities’ surveillance. According to the Director General of the IFPMA (International Federation of Pharmaceutical Manufacturers & Associations), the fight against counterfeit drugs is growing and strong legislative frameworks are needed to curb the phenomenon.

Enforcement: A trafic of fake medicines made from human cells dismantled in Switzerland

Switzerland - 29 September 2015

September 29th 2015 -

Raid and arrests took place on six sites on the Canton of Zurich, Aargay and Thurgau (Switzerland). The justice suspect those persons to violate the therapeutic products law in manufacturing and distributing in Switzerland and Italia drugs made from extracts of human cells. The Swiss Agency for Therapeutic Products (Swissmedic) warned about the dangers of these drugs on patients health. Indeed, according to Swissmedic, patients chowing down these preparations can be infected by viruses such as HIV. The prosecutor said these drugs have been found in a particular clinic near Zurich.

Enforcement: A close collaboration against pharmaceutical crime in Southern Africa

Africa - 22 September 2015

September 22th 2015 -

Interpol (International Police) conducted operations aimed at the implementation of laws. Giboia II Operation in Southern Africa (Angola, Malawi, South Africa, Swaziland, Tanzania, Zambia et Zimbabwe) has involved 2.100 police, customs and health regulatory officers during two weeks of August 2015. The collaboration notably resulted in the dismantling of criminal networks thoughout Southern Africa and closure of three clandestine fake drug manufacturing. Moreover, about twenty pharmacies and stores selling counterfeit and illegal medicines were closed.

Communication/Conferences: New campaign of the Chirac Foundation against the sale of fake medicines in Africa

France - 11 September 2015

September 11th 2015 -

On 14 September 2015, the Chirac Foundation is launching an awareness campaign on the dangers of falsified medicines to the African population. The campaign, led by Claude Chirac, aims to raise public awareness on drugs sold on the street and their health effects. Many radio and TV spots made with the help of some thirty African artists will be widely reported in the French and African media.

Communication/Conferences: The hidden side of the manufacture of fake medicines in Pakistan

Pakistan - 31 August 2015

August 31st 2015 -

Pakistani showed off to CNN their methods of manufacturing fake medicines. They manufacture their products in apartments, using bottles and capsules purchased in shops. Medical supplies retailers don’t pay attention to the use of their goods and pretend not to know if their customers put alcohol or drugs. Furthermore, counterfeiters explain that they meet a high demand and they manufacture medicines containing the same ingredients in each tablet and the same syrup in all the bottles, the only difference being the color of the products.

Enforcement: Dismantling a Colombian drug falsification network

Colombia - 21 August 2015

August 21st 2015 -

A drug trafficking network was dismantled in Colombia, after thirteen months of close collaboration of the fiscal and customs police force with the prosecutor. The modus operandi of the network was to get expired medicines, falsify their expiry date and then sell them. This criminal organization is very representative of medicines falsification networks that extend in several countries. Indeed, these drugs were manufactured in Ecuador and Venezuela and then transferred to Colombia to be marketed in several Colombian cities such as Cúcuta, Bucaramanga, Neiva, Girardot, Villavicencio, Acacias, Popayan and Bogota.

Communication/Conference: The internal community serving the fight against falsified medicines

United States - 18 August 2015

August 18th 2015 -

The proliferation of fake drugs, a global scourge particularly affecting developing countries, needs to implement sustainable solutions. According to the professor of biomedical engineering at Boston University, Muhammad Hamid Zaman, the fight against falsified medicines should be led by governments, health authorities and policymakers but also by students, entrepreneurs, researchers seeking local, original and adapted solutions to the needs of their societies. Indeed, it is by developing public-private partnerships with local entrepreneurs and inventors, strengthening links between universities and national industries that innovative solutions will be found and limit the problem of falsification of medicines.

Conference/Communication: The first IGAD Conference on regulatory coordination and harmonization in the fight against fake medicinesFake and substandard medicines sold through social media sites, in the United Arab Emirates

Ethiopia - 05 August 2015

August 5th 2015 -

In early august 2015, the first IGAD Regional Medicines Regulatory Authorities Conference on Regulatory Coordination and Harmonization has taken place. Among others, the Federal Ministry of Health of Ethiopia, WHO, UNFPA (United Nations Population Fund) and USAID / PQM (United States Agency for International Development / Promoting the Quality of Medicines was attended. The IGAD Executive Secretary emphasized the importance of the conference in view of the scale of the problem of fake medicines. In addition, the need to work urgently has arisen, in order to change as quickly as possible the regulatory framework, to coordinate and harmonize regional efforts in the fight against counterfeit medicines and illegal trafficking.

Enforcement: The Cambodian government involve in the fight against pharmacies selling counterfeit drugs

Cambodia - 01 August 2015

August 1st 2015 -

During the Pharmaceutical and Medical Expo in Phnom Penh, the director of a department of the Ministry of Health of Cambodia explained the closure policy of all pharmacies selling counterfeit drugs. The closure of these institutions is followed by legal action against the owners. In order to better control the quality of medicines, the law requires that all pharmaceutical products be registered with ministry of health. In this perspective, pharmacies have been informed of their obligation to register imported drugs in order not to be penalized.

Communication/Conference: Fake and substandard medicines sold through social media sites, in the United Arab Emirates

United Arab Emirates - 21 July 2015

July 21st 2015 -

The Ministry of Health of the United Arab Emirates warns the public against fake and substandard drugs sold through social media sites and TV channels. Indeed, consumers should remain vigilant and report to authorities any sale or merchandise of medicines through this distribution channel. The minister notes that social media was designed as platforms facilitating the exchange of information and not for marketing purposes. In the present article, it was about the sale of a rarely used antibiotic, tetracycline.

Enforcement: Seizure of falsified medical boxes and arrest of some twenty suspects in China

China - 20 July 2015

July 20th 2015 -

A Chinese campaign fighting against the production and the online trading of counterfeit medicines was deployed for a period of more than three months. This led to the arrest, by the Chinese police, of more than twenty people and the seizure of about 20 000 boxes of falsified medicines and several tons of raw materials. Falsified medicines were mostly slimming capsules and painkillers contained banned ingredients. The police results followed their investigation of online store « Liu Lulu Milk’s Cosmetics » and it involves a dozen counterfeiters illegally producing and commercializing drugs.

Communication/Conference: India, the third country in the world most affected by fake medicines and substandard drugs

India - 16 July 2015

July 16th 2015 -

According to a study conducted by PSI (Pharmaceutical Security Institute), a non-profit organization based in the US, India is the third country in the world with the most counterfeit medicines in 2014. Indeed, the number of counterfeit drug detected in 2014 is 239 and 8.4% of medicines made in India are fake and substandard. The two countries on topped the list before India are the US followed by China. As per industry experts, the global fake medicine industry generates a profit of $ 90 billion and causes the death of 1 million people per year. This phenomenon contributes to a rise in medicine resistance.

Communication/Conference: Fake drugs, “silent killers” of the Somali population

Somalia - 03 July 2015

July 3rd 2015 -

Mogadishu, capital of Somalia, includes clinics and pharmacies on almost every street corner, most unregistered and employing unqualified staff. The offer of drugs at attractive prices keeps a steady stream of customers. The effects of fake medicines in the treatment of diseases are very serious. Indeed, testimonies shows that a woman has lost the sensibility of her lower limbs and ended up covered with white blisters after taking a fake drug against migraine. Furthermore, a 52 years-old became bedridden after taking fake anti malaria. According to the doctor of a hospital, these falsified and expired drugs are “silent killers” more deadly than bombs and rockets.

Legislation: European Commission introduces a new logo to protect consumers from fake medicines for online pharmacies

European Union - 25 June 2015

June 25th 2015 -

The Falsified Medicines Directive 2011/62/EU introduced a new logo to protect patients from fake medicines. Since the 1st July 2015, all online pharmacies or retailers of medicines, legally operating, display the new logo. The logo has a specific verification process to ensure maximum protection: when clicking on the logo, online shoppers should be taken to the national regulatory authority website which lists all legally operating pharmacies and retailers of medicines in a Member State.

Communication/Conference: The proportion of fake drugs victims, more important than the number of terrorism victims

India - 25 June 2015

June 25th 2015 -

The Director of the Central Bureau of Investigation (CBI), Mr. Anil Kumar Sinha, reminds us that according to Interpol workshops, transnational terrorist incidents have resulted, in 40 years, in the death of more than 65 000 people. Moreover, fake medicines are responsible each year for the death of 10 000 to 100 000 people. The director of the CBI notes the ramification of the global threat is more pronounced in developing countries and under developed nations than in other countries. Furthermore, there is a risk that transnational organized crime, in addition to be a plague from which no region or country is immune, harm the economy.

Enforcement: A ton of drugs seized in Cameroon street pharmacies

Africa - 22 June 2015

June 22th 2015 -

The law enforcement bodies have seized, during an unannounced visit, a ton of drugs abandoned by offenders who marketed them in the streets of Ebolowa city, Cameroun. This operation was conducted by the prefect of Mvila’s department, following the instruction of the Minister of Territorial Administration and Decentralization. The seized drugs were burned in the landfill of Ebolowa city.

Enforcement: The seizure of 273.000 counterfeit tablets, by French Customs, within the framework of Operation Pangea VIII

France - 18 June 2015

June 18th 2015 -

Operation Pangea VIII, which was deployed from 9 to 16 June 2015, fights against illegal Internet sales of medicines and medical devices. This year, 115 countries, including France, took part in this operation coordinated by Interpol, the World Customs Organization (WCO) and the Permanent Forum on International Pharmaceutical Crime (PFIPC). French Customs seized 1,125 Kg of illicit drugs, fake and counterfeit medicine including 273.000 counterfeit tablets.

Enforcement: Arrest in Colombia of 10 members of a tampering medicines network

Colombia - 15 June 2015

June 15th 2015 -

The Colombian authorities have arrested ten members of a tampering drugs network in June 2015, for conspiracy, illegal possession of drugs, usurpation of industrial property rights, corruption of food, medical products and prophylactic materials. The traffickers were making fake drugs using, among other, flour, cassava, vitamin C and marketed them in popular pharmacies in Barranquilla (a city in North Colombia) and other Caribbean cities. Moreover, they bought drugs outside of traditional Colombian distribution channels (EPS Entidad Promotora de Salud) and irregularly imported these products to Venezuela and Ecuador.

Enforcement: A Russian national was sentenced to prison for marketed online fake Viagra and Misoprostol drugs in United Kingdom

United Kingdom - 12 June 2015

June 12th 2015 -

Dimitrij Selkov, a Russian national, was sentenced to jail and was ordered to pay a fine, after pleading guilty to an offense under Section 9 (1) of the Fraud Act 2006, participating in fraudulent business carried on by sole trader. Dimitrij Selkov sold on the internet falsified versions of the Viagra drug, used for erectile dysfunction and the Misoprostol drug, used to perform a surgical or medical abortion. The law required that the Misoprostol drug be supplied through a UK registered facility (hospital or clinic). The court ordered all drugs to be destroyed in order to limit the negative effects fake drugs could have on the health of consumers.

Communication/Conference: Counterfeiters exploit the most common American health problems

United States - 06 June 2015

June 6th 2015 -

Internet offers many online websites selling drugs treatment for the nine most common health concerns: cancer (lung, skin, prostate and colorectal), chronic lower respiratory disease, obesity, erectile dysfunction, depression, hair loss, hypertension, high cholesterol and type 2 diabetes. It is advised, before buying these drugs, to do some research, to get a prescription from a doctor and only buy from a Verified Internet Pharmacy Practice Sites (VIPPS). For example, regarding chronic lower respiratory disease, the FDA alerted in 2011 patients on Internet sales of fake antibiotics in Colorado, Delaware, Texas, Florida, California and Georgia.

Communication/Conference: A hotline collecting complaints and suspected fake drugs in Indonesia

Indonesia - 02 June 2015

June 2th 2015 -

The Indonesian Agency of Drug and Food Control (BPOM) announced that a hotline would be opened to receive complaints concerning the circulation of false or illicit drugs and cosmetic products. According to the director of the BPOM, it is cybercrime acts which require cooperation with the National Police and Interpol. Within the framework of Operation Pangea VII conducted in 15 cities, including Jakarta, Mabadi, Menan and Surabaya, the BPOM had identified 302 website distributing fake drugs, foods and cosmetics.

Communication/Conference: Guinea, the 5th state to ratify Medicrime Convention

Guinea - 30 May 2015

May 30th 2015 -

Medicrime Convention was voted on May 30th, 2015 by the National Assembly of Guinea, with the unanimity of deputies present. Guinea was, in 2012, the first African nation to have signed this agreement. Fake medicines, world plague of public health, is a real problem in Guinea. Indeed, according to the World Health Organization, 70 % of products circulating in Guinea escape the official import channels.

Communication/Conference: An ABC News 20/20 report on the sale of falsified medicines in the United States

United States - 15 May 2015

May 15th 2015 -

The ABC News 20/20 reporters aired a report on their channel on the numerus operations involving the sale of counterfeit medicines. To achieve their report, they investigated alongside members of US Homeland Security, US Customs and Border Protection, FBI Los Angeles Police department. Their work reveals that prescription drugs were falsified and sold on the streets, Flea Markets and retail stores in Los Angeles. Some of the products were from Canada, while the other part was manufactured and stored in private homes.

Communication/Conference: The 9th annual scientific meeting gathered 500 pharmacists in Fez

Morocco - 08 May 2015

May 8th 2015 -

During the 9th Annual Scientific Meeting of May 8th and 9th 2015, 500 pharmacists met in Fez (Morocco) to alert and make the patients and the authorities react on the issue of counterfeit medicines and the use of medical devices outside pharmacies. The topics discussed were the risks bound to counterfeiting and smuggling’s medicines, the harmful effect of these on the public health and online sales of medicines. In Fez, the falsified products are sold in the districts of Talaâ (old city) and Saâda. About the on-line sale of medicines, pharmacists encourage inspections of the pharmaceutical profession, as required by the law, and parallel circuits.

Enforcement: Medicine with falsified expiry date were found in Germany

Germany - 06 May 2015

May 6th 2015 -

Fake Humira ® (adalimumab) of the laboratory AbbVie, was found in Germany. The turnover engendered by this medicine amounts to 11 billion dollars in 2014. Humira ® is a medicine used, among others, to handle the rheumatoid arthritis and the psoriasis. Those counterfeit medicines possibly come from Poland and from Turkey. They contain, according to the lab testing, the active ingredient but a fake batch number bearing an expiry date extended to May, 2016. Furthermore, the batch number on the secondary packaging does not match that on the primary blisters.

Communication/Conferences: Counterfeit pharmaceutical products, third among the most seized products in 2014 by US Customs

United States - 04 May 2015

May 4th 2015

The balance of US Customs reveals that counterfeit medicines appear third in the list of the ten main categories of the most seized goods. The year 2014 has 28 092 interceptions of counterfeit goods (28 212 in 2013) including 2 417 seizures of pharmaceuticals and personal care (2 215 in 2013), representing 9% of total seizures (8% in 2013). In the United States, counterfeiting is a crime characterized by the violation of intellectual property (trademark), industrial property (patent) and deceives the consumer.

Enforcement : Dismantling in India of a fake medicines factory and arrest of three suspects

India - 02 May 2015

May 2nd 2015 -

The dismantling of a factory manufacturing counterfeit medicines, by the Delhi police, has followed the recovery of a huge quantity of fake drugs. Three men of 36, 37 and 43, suspected of producing fake medicine in the warehouse, were arrested on this occasion. Furthermore, the police intercepted machinery and three cartons containing Pantop–DSR tablets, Althrocin tablets and Mesocal tablets.

Communication/Conference: Brazil, the third largest supplier of fake medicines

Brazil - 30 April 2015

April 30th 2015 -

Brazil, as a new supplier of fake medicines after China and India, mobilizes against this plague. This commitment is understandable by the fact that, according to the website “usine nouvelle”, 20 percent of medicines sold on the Brazilian market are counterfeits. The Oswaldo Cruz (Fiocruz) foundation, institution of Latin America established in the 1900s, under supervision of the Brazilian Ministry of Health, fights for a long time against this Public Health problem.

Communication/Conferences: The involvement of the United Arab Emirates on the fight against counterfeit medicines

United Arab Emirates - 20 April 2015

April 20th 2015 -

Doctor Ameen Hussain Al Amiri, president of the Emirates International Conference on Combating Drug Counterfeiting (which took place on April 20th and 21st, 2015) speaks on this occasion about this “world-wide phenomenon” causing patient's deaths around the world. This type of counterfeit threatens the patient consumer because he is not being capable of making the difference between the real and the fake medicine. According to Dr Al Amiri, China and Africa are the biggest suppliers of counterfeit medicine; these products are being then exported in Europe. Besides, in 2011, the number of seizures of fake medicine amounted, according to him, to 954 cases in East Asia and to 381 cases in South America; 2,5 % of these products came from Arab countries. The mission asserted by this doctor is to insure the consumers the obtaining of high-quality medicine, safe and effective, thanks to the collaboration with the statutory authorities (Ministry of Health, Police of Dubai, Ministry of Interior, and Customs).

Communication/Conferences: 17 scientific studies talk about the “global pandemic” provoked by fake and low quality medicine

United-States - 20 April 2015

April 20th 2015 -

According to researchers, the persistent counterfeit of substandard medicines, in the poor countries, threatens the fight and the scientific efforts made for decades against malaria, HIV / AIDS and other serious illnesses. The professor of public health of the University of North Carolina, Jim Herrington, specifies that this pandemic is omnipresent and underestimated. This one is more particularly virulent in countries with low or middle incomes in which the regulations are weak or non-existent. Scientific articles, financed partially by the foundation Bill and Melinda Gates, indicate that the number African children’s death, attributable to low quality or fake anti malaria medicine, in 2013, is 122 000. Besides, other studies show that 41 % of anti-malaria and anti-tuberculosis fake to meet quality specifications. In spite of the various investigations giving indicators of the scale of the problem, it remains impossible to determine to what extent counterfeit medicines are omnipresent. We suppose that falsified medicine represents approximately 75 billion dollars annually. This problem affects the poor countries in which raged malaria and other infectious diseases but also medicines against cancer, cardiovascular diseases and others serious illnesses. THE WHO (World Health Organization) works actively to dislodge the criminal networks.

Enforcement: Counterfeit versions of Botox® in the United States, found in doctor’s offices and medical clinics

United States - 16 April 2015

April 16th 2015 -

Counterfeit Botox versions were sold in the US by an unlicensed supplier not allowed to ship or distribute pharmaceutical product. These products, which come in the hands of US health professionals and medical clinics, are considered as dangerous to health and therefore, should not be used. In fact, the Food and Drug Administration (US Health Authority) is not able to confirm that the suspects’ products follow the US standards of manufacture, quality, storage and handling. The FDA says that counterfeit products can be identified by the lot number (which, in this case, is absent from the bottle), inscriptions on the packaging (date of manufacture MFG and date of expiry EXP not present in this case) and the name of the active ingredient (the term "Botulium Toxin Type A" was false, the real name is "onabotulinumtoxinA"). Health professionals are encouraged to check with the manufacturer of the "real" Botox (Botox approved by the FDA) that the distributor is authorized to distribute the Botox. In addition, the FDA asks patients to report suspected products, by calling the Office of Criminal Investigations (OIC), by making a report to OIC or by email to the FDA.

Communication/Conferences: The five hidden poisons in counterfeit medicines

April 13th 2015 -

Five types of poisons are hidden in counterfeit medicine: heavy metals, actual poisons, common household items, drugs you didn’t ask for or no drugs at all. Heavy metals (mercury, lead, arsenic, chromium, aluminum...) can, among other, be carcinogenic and toxic to central nervous system, kidneys and liver. The actual poisons (rat poison, boric acid …) may cause damage such as damage or kidney failure, cancer and developmental defects. Common household items (brick dust, floor wax, paint) can cause vomiting, abdominal pain, coma or death of the patient. Unwanted medications (aminotadalifil, xanthoanthrafil) can cause difficulty in breathing, high blood pressure and even stroke. Similarly, a medication without active ingredient in counterfeit medicine can be dangerous or even deadly.

Communication/Conferences: Alarming figures, witnesses of the danger of counterfeit medicines in Africa

Kenya - 01 April 2015

April 1st 2015 -

The National Council on Administration of Justice (NCAJ), in collaboration with the Kenya Association of Manufacturers (KAM), published in 2014 a manual entitled « Enforcement manual to combat illicit trade in Kenya with highlights on laws prohibiting illicit trade in Kenya ». The report reveals that the African market is flooded with weak quality medicine or counterfeit medicine. Indeed, according to this study, 30 percent of anti-malaria medications, in the Kenyan market, are counterfeit. Globally, anti-malaria and anti-tuberculosis kills every year 700.000 persons, 100.000 deaths from Africa. Besides, the manual informs us that medicines are the most counterfeited products with the electronics, software, food, cigarettes and auto parts.

Enforcement: The College of Spanish pharmacists removes from the website Bebitus pharmaceutical products illegally sold

Spain - 30 March 2015

March 30th 2015 -

Gripavicks medicine (Vicks SL laboratory) and a products of "in vitro" diagnosis (pregnancy test) marketed by the laboratory Clearblue was illegally sold on the website. Further to the complaint of the College of Saragossa pharmacists (Spain), these products had been removed from the website. The College of pharmacists is looking forward to a new European regulation on the on-line sale of over the counter (OTC) medicine identifying the authorized websites and containing the common logo developed by the European Union.

Communication/Conferences: Seminar concerning the dangerous counterfeiting products and more specifically the counterfeiting medicines

Cambodia - 25 March 2015

March 25th and 26th 2015 -

Counter Counterfeit Committee (CCC), an interministerial office fighting against the counterfeiting products and their dangers for public health, in South-East Asia, organized a seminar in Siem Reap (capital of the province of Siem Reap, Cambodia). This seminar was addressed to security forces in charge of the repression of counterfeiting product’s traffic and more specifically in charge of the traffic of counterfeiting medicines. Contributors representing a wide range of expertise (policemen of the economic crime prevention, agents of the customs, goods controllers, health’s inspectors, military police’s inspectors and magistrates) were present in the seminar.

Communication/Conferences: The excellent customs results 2014 regarding to seizure of counterfeiting medicine

France - 17 March 2015

March 17th 2015 -

According to the customs results 2014, 8.8 million articles were seized (+15.4 %) among which 2.6 million counterfeiting medicine (1.3 million in 2013). The amount of seized counterfeit drugs represents almost a third of the total number of items seized. The direction of the customs operations had broken the European record by seizing, in Le Havre (France), 2.4 million counterfeiting medicines, found in two containers coming from China.

Legislation: Federal judge overturns Maine prescription drug law

United States - 25 February 2015

February 25th 2015 -

A federal judge has invalidated a Maine’s law that allowed people to import prescription medicines from online pharmacies operating in Canada, UK, Australia and New Zealand. The two-year-old first-in-the nation law, known as the Maine Pharmacy Act, has been a closely watched flash point in the national debate about the cost of prescription drugs.
The motion against this law was brought by Maine’s different health associations on the ground that the practice “violates federal laws which were established to protect the public from unsafe medications” and exposing the Maine residents to “counterfeit medicines supplied by dubious overseas pharmacies”.

Communication/Conferences: Creation of a new organization to secure the supply chain from falsification risk

Europe - 19 February 2015

February 19th 2015 -

Major European healthcare organizations met in Brussels on the 13th of February to pursue the EU Falsified Medicines Directive and to protect the pharmaceutical supply chain from the risk of falsification. In order to achieve these purposes, the organizations have announced the establishment of the European Medicine Verification Organization (EMVO). It will allow end to end verification of medicines from the manufacturing of pharmaceutical products to the dispensing points for patients throughout national verification systems agreed by the European Health Organizations.

Enforcement: Number of rogue online pharmacies are increasing

World - 13 February 2015

February 13th 2015 -

According to Legitscript, a website that allows patients to verify and report fraudulous and rogue pharmaceutical websites, over a thousand rogue online pharmacies were added to the Legitscript database in January, illustrating the growing trend of illegal pharmacies over the internet and illustrating the opportunities given by this platform to criminals to make easy money.
The trend was also illustrated by the closure in Spain, of 350 illegal online pharmacies in 2014, a 55% increase compared to the previous year.

Legislation: First agreement on the ratification of the Medicrime convention

Belgium - 13 February 2015

February 13th 2015 -

The 13th of February, the Belgian Council of Ministers approved a preliminary project regarding the ratification of the Medicrime convention. This preliminary project is echoing the French project of law to ratify the same convention, which could bring to 5 the number of member states of the Medicirme convention, allowing it to enter into force.
The Belgian preliminary project will be transferred to the Council of State for agreement before the legislative procedure will go on.

Communication/Conferences: Internet giants collaborate in anticipation of online drug prescription sale authorization

China - 10 February 2015

February 10th 2015 -

The internet sales giant Alibaba is working in close collaboration with Jo-Jo Drugstore, another Chinese group specialized in pharmaceutical sales on the internet, in order to anticipate the coming authorization from the Chinese Food and Drug Agency (CFDA) regarding the online sale of prescription medicines. A mobile application has already been released, allowing patients to take a picture of their prescription and comparing the prices of their medicines from online and physical pharmacies around them. The coming authorization arrives in a context of growing trend of counterfeit pharmaceutical products in China, trend to which Alibaba is trying to put an end to.

Enforcement: Convicted pharmacist gets licensed pulled for running internet prescription scheme

United States - 09 February 2015

February 9th 2015 -

A pharmacist from New Jersey got his license pulled away after he was condemned in June for having doling out addictive pain pills to patients over the internet with illegal prescriptions after they had filled out an online “patient questionnaire” and without any physical examination. The pharmacist was condemned to two years of probation, to pay a fine of US$ 45.000 and to a suspension of his license for 5 years.

Legislation: Heavier sanctions against fake drugs

Russia - 06 February 2015

February 6th 2015 -

A new law enacted this week in Russia will allow heavier regulations on the pharmaceutical products in order to cut down the presence of counterfeit medicines both coming from and going out of the country.
The federal law number 532-FZ will criminalize individuals responsible for the sale or import of improper, substandard or unregistered medical products, as well as the counterfeit of such products, of packaging or of documents. The convicted could be condemned to a fine up to RUB 3million (US$ 45.000). This new legislation is a strong move forward in comparison with the previous ones.

Enforcement: Seizure of fake drugs worth over US$ 1.4 million

Nigeria - 27 January 2015

January 27th 2015 -

The Nigerian National Agency for Food and Drug Administration and Control (NAFDAC) seized five containers filled with fake and unregistered drugs against erectile dysfunction, valued at approximately 270 Naira (over US$ 1.4 million). The NAFDAC reported the arrest of two suspects involved with the smuggling of those pharmaceutical products, charged with the forgery of official documents of authorization and with the operation of illegal production facilities posing serious threat to the public health.

Legislation: France announces the future ratification of the Medicrime convention

France - 26 January 2015

January 26th 2015 -

During the council of ministers of January 5th, a draft law authorizing the ratification of the Medicrime convention was presented. This draft law would add the ratification of France to those of Ukraine, Spain, Hungary and Moldova.
Adopted in 2010 by the Council of Europe, the Medicrime convention is an international legal tool criminalizing the fabrication and the distribution of falsified pharmaceutical products. In order for the convention to enter into force, it has to be ratified by five states, giving the future French ratification a particular importance.

Enforcement: A terrorist arrested and a large amount of medicine seized

Algeria - 25 January 2015

January 25th 2015 -

According to the Algerian Ministry of Defense a large amount of medicine and other pharmaceutical products such as psychotropic drugs, was seized by the National Army during a raid against a terrorist’s house who was arrested two days before. The operation, conducted in the context of the anti-terrorist fight and the securing of borders led to the seizure of an estimated amount of over 100 000 tablets. Further analysis will determine whether the seized products are genuine or counterfeited.
This seizure illustrates the growing place of pharmaceutical products in the financing of criminal organizations and the resulting need to implement a tighter control over the sales and import of pharmaceutical products.

Communication/Conferences: European seminar Pharmacrime 4

France - 22 January 2015

January 22nd 2015 -

The 4th Pharmacrime seminar was held this month in Paris gathered over 90 participants around the problematic of falsified medicines in Europe. Judges, prosecutors and specialists of the subject from several international organizations were present, representing 22 of the 28 European Union member states.
The aims of the seminar were to raise awareness, increase the effectiveness of investigations related to falsified/counterfeited medicines and create and publish the European guide on good practices for judges and prosecutors involved in investigation on counterfeit medicines.

Legislation: China announces the future online sales of prescription drugs

China - 09 January 2015

January 9th 2015 -

China will allow the online sale of prescription drugs as early as this month, opening up a potential market of over 161 billion US$. The Chinese health authority (the China Food and Drug Administration) is finalizing the list of authorized drugs to be sold online.
This new policy will benefit to online retail pharmacies such as Alibaba Health or in order to wrest sales from hospitals which represent over 70% of the sales of prescription drugs. However it will increase the risk of distribution of counterfeit pharmaceutical products, problematic already present within the online sales of medicines in China.


Enforcement: Seizure of counterfeit medicines after local FDA warning

Philippines - 30 December 2014

December 30th 2014 -

December 12th 2014 -

The Bureau of Customs (BOC) seized 660 Kg of counterfeit medicines worth tens of thousands American dollars. The shipment, sent from Pakistan, contained various medicines such as vascular disease treatments, diabetes drugs or abdominal pain medicines.
This seizure illustrates the surge of counterfeit pharmaceutical products in the Philippines, where the national Food and Drug Administration reported that almost ten percent of medicines available in the country are considered fake, warning the public “to be cautious when buying medical products; counterfeit and fake drugs continue to be distributed despite the efforts from the authorities to eliminate these illegal activities”.

Communication/Conferences: Gangs using smartphone apps and social media to sell erectile dysfunction drugs and slimming pills at low risk and high profit

United Kingdom - 28 December 2014

December 28th 2014 -

Criminal networks are now taking advantage of the rise of social media to sell “lifestyle” drugs such as slimming products, erectile dysfunction drugs, sleeping pills or antidepressants, to a growing mass market.
This year, the MHRA (Medicines and Healthcare Products Regulatory Agency) had seized 1.8 million doses of illegally supplied, counterfeited or poorly conditioned drugs, mostly originating from China and India. For the first time, the MHRA pursued YouTube accounts and removed 18,671 videos that directed viewers to websites offering illicit drugs.
YouTube encourages its viewers to report any account promoting illegal or counterfeit goods, and eBay is working in close collaboration with the MHRA and other regulation agencies across the globe, to remove and report any products not in line with its medicine and healthcare products policy.

Enforcement: Illicit drugs seized in Dhaka

Bangladesh - 21 December 2014

December 21st 2014 -

A large amount of medicines was seized during a raid near Dhaka on the 18th of December by the General Directorate of Drug Administration. The seizure worth 7.5 million Taka (almost US$ 100.000) was mainly composed of anti-cancer medicines and food supplements, some of which were counterfeited and had been smuggled from neighboring countries such as India.
The owner of the company, SK Entreprise, responsible for the smuggling is facing either a maximum of 10 years of imprisonment or a fine of 200.000 Taka, or even both. However, in this country, such judicial procedures could last several years before arriving to a decision.

Enforcement: Nearly a ton of medicines seized and five pharmacies closed

Peru - 12 December 2014

December 12th 2014 -

Close to a ton of pharmaceutical products from dubious origins were seized in the province of Chiclayo, and five pharmacies near to the regional hospital were closed.
Those healthcare institutions were searched due to the absence of authorization to sell pharmaceutical products and then closed for health safety measures. The medicines seized were of unknown or dubious origins, falsified, counterfeited or in a poor state of preservation.

Communication/Conferences: Alibaba launches its new application to buy online medicine

China - 09 December 2014

December 9th 2014 -

The Chinese company Alibaba is set to launch in December an application that will facilitate the sales and home deliveries of pharmaceutical products. By uploading a photo of their prescription, the users will be able to compare the prices of medicines in the pharmacies around nearby and order them.
Alibaba plans to control the risk of distributing unauthorized medicines by implementing a protection via the CITIC 21CN company which will integrate a bar code tracking system on medicine boxes in order to identify the product and to verify its authenticity.

Communication/Conferences: The IRACM launches a free access e-learning treating about drug counterfeiting

France - 09 December 2014

December 9th 2014 -

In an effort to communicate and sensitize, the IRACM (International Anti-Counterfeit Medicine Research Institute) has launched in December a free access e-learning composed of seven modules, aiming to improve the understanding regarding the pharmaceutical product and the stakes linked to it.
Counterfeiting, applicable legislations, fight against counterfeit but also ways to try to identify an illegal online pharmacy and to judge the authenticity of a box of medicine are topics addressed in the e-learning.

Enforcement: Fake drug factory busted in Dhaka

Bangladesh - 09 December 2014

December 9th 2014 -

A fake medicine factory was dismantled in Dhaka, the Bangladeshi capital. The owner of the factory was illegally producing handmade medicines, among which were found counterfeited treatments against tetanus, painkillers and antibiotics. The owner, who also used running water to make treatments for eyes and nose, was condemned to 2 years of imprisonment.

Communication/Conferences: 30% of antimalarial medicines are substandard

Africa - 01 December 2014

December 1st 2014 -

The latest results of the WorldWide Antimalarial Resist Network (WWARN) revealed that 30% of medicines against malaria failed the quality tests and that 39% of those medicines were falsified.
Fake malaria treatments represent a real danger for public health because of the substandard dosage of active ingredient, too low to fight against the disease but just enough to allow the development of resistant strains.

Enforcement: 292 domain names seized in 19 countries

Europe and United States - 01 December 2014

December 1st 2014 -

Europol and the US Immigration and Customs Enforcement have coordinated an operation entitled “In Our Site” which took place in the United States and in 19 countries in cooperation with Europol.
The law enforcement agencies that launched this operation, seized 292 internet domain names for having sold illegally counterfeit merchandises online, including medicines.

Legislation: Towards easing regulation of online pharmacies

France - 24 November 2014

November 24th 2014 - (PDF in french)

In order to develop the French market of online sales of non-prescription medicines, the Member of Parliament of the Social Party Richard Ferrand, presented the government a report aiming to ease the regulation governing the accessibility of this market. After two years, only 202 pharmacies have launched their websites, to which the report suggests to “remove the mandatory affiliation of the distant selling to a physical pharmacy”, which is already allowed in the United Kingdom.

Enforcement: Swiss national health authority reports measures taken against counterfeit medicines

Switzerland - 24 November 2014

November 24th 2014 -

In its annual report, the Swiss national health authority (Swissmedic), recalls the potential dangers linked with counterfeit pharmaceutical products and outlines the actions taken against these products. In 2013, Swissmedic has received 316 illegal activity reports related to drugs, has shut down 19 Swiss websites offering illegal drugs and has seized over one million of psychotropic counterfeit tablets at the Zurich airport, coming from China and bound for Egypt.

Communication/Conferences: A new campaign against fake medicines

Benin - 20 November 2014

November 20th 2014 -

The Government of Benin launched in collaboration with the US Agency of International Development (USAID) a communication campaign informing the population about the risk associated with the consumption of counterfeit medicines and about the role it can play in exposing clandestine distribution networks of these drugs.
This traffic benefits to counterfeiters at the expense of economic growth, social welfare and poverty reduction of developing countries such as Benin.

Enforcement: Operation Pharmakon: 25 accused and 15 pharmacies involved in illegal resale and export of medicines in Spain

Spain - 30 October 2014

October 30th 2014 -

The operation Pharmakon, which began in May of last year, started from an isolated case in the Spanish region of Aragorn. From this isolated case the Spanish authorities have uncovered a vast network of pharmacies illegally exporting drugs and selling illicit medicines with fake prescriptions at a very low price. To this day, 25 people have been arrested, including fifteen pharmacists, employees of drug distributing companies and physicians of the region.

Communication/Conference: Judge says Google settlement over pharma ads is fair

United States - 29 October 2014

October 29th 2014 -

Google is planning to invest 250 million dollars in order to fight against the proliferation of rogue pharmacies online and against the increasing numbers of illegal sales of prescription medicines on the internet by more visible contents. Google is also planning to work with authorized online pharmacies to reinforce the legitimacy of their actions. This plan must be approved by an American court of justice before it is put in place. The judge of the Oakland County in California stated that “Google’s plan is fair” and would be ready to approve it.

Enforcement: £200,000 “smart drugs” seizure prompts alarm over rising UK sales

United Kingdom - 24 October 2014

October 24th 2014 -

A record amount of illicit “smart drugs” usually sold to students to enhance their memory and concentration has been seized from a website in the United Kingdom. Most of the seized drugs are medicines that should only be available with a prescription; one of the seized drugs is experimental and has never been tested on humans in clinical tests. The seizure, worth 200,000£ shows the increasing place Internet has in the sale of cognitive enhancement drugs, and illustrate the phenomenon of students aiming for over edge mental competition, moving from coffee to caffeine tablets.

Communication/Conference: Counterfeit represent 20% of the sale of medicines in Brazil

Brazil - 17 October 2014

October 17th 2014 -

The illegal sale of counterfeit medicines in Brazil is rapidly growing, representing this year 20% of the Brazilian pharmaceutical market for a total value estimated at over 3.2 billion US$ which is twice the world average according to the WHO.
Apart from the economic problematic linked to the counterfeiting of medicines (over 2 billion US$ from these sales are sent abroad), the presence of counterfeit medicines is rising and relayed by the Brazilian newspaper Carta Capital relating the sanitary incidents that occurred last September. The intoxication of children due to a counterfeited cough syrup resulted in the death of one of them; the product was made by an Indian laboratory and then imported through Paraguay.
Following this incident, the Brazilian national sanitary vigilance agency (Anvisa) recommended the population not to use treatments not approved by the national authorities.

Communication/Conference: Trafficking of counterfeit medicines would generate more than 11 million pesos annually to Mexican organized crime

Mexico - 17 October 2014

October 17th 2014 -

According to the national chamber of the Mexican pharmaceutical industry, the trafficking of counterfeited medicines would generate more than 11.5 million pesos a year to the organized crime.
In spite of the efforts of the local authorities, closing 10 to 12 clandestine laboratories per year, the counterfeiting of medicines is a fast-growing sector in Latin America and especially in Mexico where 6 out of 10 medicines sold are believed to be illicit.

Enforcement: Dismantling of a network of medicine counterfeiters in Hong Kong

Hong Kong - 17 October 2014

October 17th, 2014 -

Acting on information, the Hong Kong customs led a two days raid in an industrial building in Cheung Sha Wan were medicines were stored for sale. The raid permitted the seizure of around 64.000 suspected counterfeited pills worth about 200.000 US$.
In addition, a test-buy operation organized by the customs led to the seizure of 1.000 counterfeited pills valued at 4.000 US$ and to the arrest of two men and two women; if recognized guilty, they could be risking a maximum fine of 500.000 US$ and imprisonment for five year.

Communication/Conference: Nonprofit partners launch Times Square ad to protect consumers from illegal online drug sellers

United States - 13 October 2014

October 13th 2014 -

The Center for Safe Internet Pharmacies (CSIP) and the Alliance for Safe Online Pharmacies (ASOP) released a common communication announcement which will be running from October to the end of January on the 520 square foot screen in Times Square. The advertisement is warning consumers about the dangers of purchasing prescription drugs online, it could be “gambling with your life”.

Enforcement: Europol’s operation Archimedes targets child trafficking, finds fake drug factory

Europe - 07 October 2014

October 7th, 2014 -

Europol led between the 15th and the 23rd of September the “single largest coordinated assault on organized crime ever seen in Europe” in more than 300 cities, ports, airports and border crossings of the 28 members of the European Union along with others States such as Colombia, Norway, Serbia, Switzerland and the United-States.

The operation entitled Archimedes was targeted towards child trafficking organizations but also unveiled a large amount of counterfeit medication producing equipment, putting into light the link between the organized crime and the emerging integrated criminal economy, in which the counterfeiting of medicines has proven to be occupying an increasing place.

Enforcement: Nearly 750,000 units of falsified and smuggled drugs seized this year in Colombia

Colombia - 29 September 2014

September 29th, 2014 -

According to the Colombian authorities, a recent operation conjointly led with the Venezuelan authorities resulted in the seizure of 13,000 units of counterfeit medicines, bringing the total amount of seized counterfeit medicines in Colombia close to 750,000 units in the past year.
Among the seized products were found HIV/AIDS treatments, psychiatric and pediatric treatments as well as contraceptives, some containing sand and cement.
The operation also led to the arrest of ten members of a transnational trafficking network of counterfeit medicines.

Communication/Conference: Market for online sales of prescription drugs grows in fits and starts

China - 25 September 2014

September 25th 2014 -

The China Food and Drug Administration (CFDA) has released a draft regulation that would tighten the control of online sales of food and medicines. Sources with the knowledge of the matter reported that this regulation originally published in May could be put into practice by the end of October.
The draft regulation specifies that companies cooperating with drugstores will be allowed to sell drugs online as for smaller drugstores after having fulfilled the legal requirements, which still need to be defined.

Communication/Conference: Dangerous and banned pharmaceutical products on sale on eBay

United States - 24 September 2014

September 24th 2014 -

According to the American channel ABC News on September 11th, dangerous and banned pharmaceutical products have been found on the eBay website. A private investigation reported the presence of illegal and dangerous slimming treatments containing sibutramine on the website. Sibutramine, used in treatments against obesity, was withdrawn from the American market by the FDA in 2010 due to its dangerosity for public health.
This investigation mirrors the campaign led by Mississippi Attorney General Jim Hood to get Google to remove fake online pharmacies from the search results, to which Google responded by investing 250 million dollars to fight against illegal online pharmacies.

Communication/Conference: FDA asks all medical professionals to “know your source” to protect patients from fake drugs

United States - 24 September 2014

September 24th 2014 -

The FDA launched a new communication campaign “Know Your Source: Protecting Patients from Unsafe Drugs” oriented towards the professionals of the health industry.
The goal of the campaign is to educate the pharmaceutical professionals and other medical professions responsible for wholesale purchases about the danger of purchasing medication from “rogue” wholesalers.
The campaign reinforces the message that only state-licensed wholesale distributors as well as FDA-approved medicines can guarantee the safety of the treatment prescribed to patients.

Enforcement: Biyela 2: Record interceptions of counterfeited and/or illegal pharmaceutical products

Africa - 22 September 2014

September 22th 2014 -

From May 26th to June 4th was conducted the Biyela 2 operation by the World Customs Organization and the Anti-counterfeiting Drug Research Institute (IRACM) on the African continent. This operation led to the interception and the seizure of more than 113 million of counterfeited and illegal pharmaceutical products in 122 intercepted containers.

This operation was conducted in 15 major ports of the African continent, the Benin being the country suffering the most from counterfeited medicines and representing over 49% of the total amount of the seized products, Tanzania and the Democratic Republic of Congo just behind, representing respectively 24% and 11% of the total amount of the seized products.

Of these 113 million counterfeited medicines, analgesic, anti-inflammatory, and anti-tuberculosis are the most present, corresponding to 2/3 of the confiscated medicines.

Enforcement: FedEx charged in another counterfeited drug transport case

United States - 16 September 2014

September 16th, 2014 -

Last month, FedEx was indicted for transporting medicines from illegal online pharmacies, and prosecuted for providing medicines without prescription. On Friday 15 Aug. 2014, the company has faced a new charge for having “accepted payment from several pharmacies when it knew the money was the product of unauthorized prescriptions”. The 17th of July, FedEx had already been charged and prosecuted by the American justice for having facilitated the delivery of counterfeited medicines from online pharmacies between 2000 and 2010, and was risking a 820 million dollar fine. FedEx pleaded non-guilty; however, if the company is recognized guilty it will have to pay a 1.6 billion dollar fine.

Enforcement: An international raid was led in order to fight against a counterfeit drug trafficking in the European Union

Europe - 07 September 2014

September 7, 2014 -

Europol (the office for police cooperation) and Eurojust (the office for judiciary cooperation), have announced on the 1st of September, the success of an intervention against a counterfeited drugs trafficking. The intervention resulted in the seizing of several millions of counterfeited pills of Viagra at an estimated value of over 10 million euros, of more than 7.5 million euros on bank accounts, and of several luxury cars.

This intervention led conjointly by the Cypriot, Austrian, Hungarian, Belgium and British police forces, has led to the arrest of 12 dealers who were importing counterfeited medicines form China in order to smuggle them into the European market.

Communication/Conferences: .pharmacy web address to go live in early 2015

United States - 05 September 2014

September 5, 2014 -

The National association of Boards of Pharmacy (NABP), an American and independent association which goal is to ensure the protection of public health reported that the .pharmacy domain will be open by the end of 2014 in the United States. The aim of this domain is to contribute to protect patients against the illegal online sale of medicines, often counterfeited. The use of .pharmacy domain will be restricted to operators that meet the internet pharmacy practice regulation in the countries where they operate.

Communication/Conference: The action of the French government to fight against counterfeiting

France - 02 September 2014

September 2nd, 2014 -

The Court of Auditors (a French political institution), has published the 2nd of September six recommendations in order to strengthen the efficiency of the public action against counterfeiting.

  • recommendation n° 1 : proceed in collaboration with the national anti-counterfeiting committee, to an objective analysis of the national and sectorial economic consequences of counterfeiting.
  • recommendation n°2 : create an institution, at the interdepartmental level, for strategic thinking and operational governance of the fight against counterfeiting.
  • recommendation n°3 : strengthen the role of the national anti-counterfeiting committee.
  • recommendation n°4 : adopt, at the European Union level, a text of law that would reestablish the control of customs over the borders for a better control of the traffic and transition of goods.
  • recommendation n°5 : make sure that no territorial region of production of counterfeited products could escape from the control of public agents and possible repressive actions.
  • recommendation n°6 : give the justice the means to sanction more often and with more severity the crime of counterfeiting.

Communication/Conferences: FDA warns against illicit Ebola treatments sold online

USA - 14 August 2014

August 14, 2014 -

The Food and Drug Agency warns the US consumers about the online selling of treatments claiming to prevent or cure the Ebola virus. To date, the FDA did not give its agreement to any treatments against the virus.
According to the last assessment of the WHO (stopped on August 20th), Ebola made at least 1 427 deaths on a total of 2 615 cases (confirmed, likely or suspicious): 624 in Liberia, 406 in Guinea, 392 in Sierra Leone and 5 in Nigeria.

Communication/Conferences: The Republic of Moldova ratified the Medicrime Convention

Europe - 14 August 2014

August 14, 2014 -

The 14th of August 2014, the Republic of Moldova ratified the Medicrime Convention of the Council of Europe on counterfeiting of medical products. The Republic of Moldova is the 4th State to ratify the Medicrime Convention, after Ukraine Spain and Hungary. There is now only one more ratification needed, from a member or non-member State of the Council of Europe, in order for the first criminal tool in the fight against the drugs counterfeiting to be effective.

Communication/Conferences: Google is going to invest 250 million $ to fight against illegal pharmacies online

World - 09 August 2014

August 9, 2014 - (in French)

Having been accused in 2011 of not fighting effectively against the sale of fake medicines online, Google makes a commitment to finance a program at the level of 50 million dollars a year for 5 years. It will be a question of setting up solutions to counter the broadcasting of advertisements of illegal online pharmacies selling counterfeit/illicit medicines.

Enforcement: The increase in the seizures of counterfeit medicines worries

Belgium - 07 August 2014

August 7, 2014 -

The Belgian customs seized 1 511 300 counterfeit medicines in 2013. It represents a strong increase since 2012 when only 6 421 fakes had been intercepted. This important gap is understandable by the important seizures realized during the operation Pangea and by the implementation of a unit of fight against the sale and the import of illicit products by Internet.
In great majority, the seizures concerned treatments for diabetes, high blood pressure and erectile dysfunctions.

Communication/Conferences: “Fight the Fakes” campaign proposes travel tips to avoid fake medicines on holiday, particularly abroad

World - 01 August 2014

August 1, 2014 - The full list of tips:

Here are some chosen tips find in the report from “Fight the Fakes” campaign:

  • If you’re on medication, take enough to last you for the duration of your trip.
  • Be sure to check the expiration date & dosage of medicine, no matter where you are.
  • Call your embassy for a list of certified pharmacies.
  • Only buy medicines from official & licenced retailers, whichever country you are in.
  • Be suspicious of tablets that have a peculiar odor, taste, or color, or that are extremely brittle.

Enforcement: 10 years of prison for having sold a counterfeit syrup leading to the death of hundreds of children

Bangladesh - 31 July 2014

July 31, 2014 -

A court sentenced three Bangladeshi on July 22, 2014, in Dhaka to a penalty of 10 years’ imprisonment for producing and selling a toxic paracetamol syrup that killed hundreds of children in the 90s. They have been accused of replacing syrup’s ingredient with a cheaper alternative (diethylene glycol) used in leather dyeing industry. More than 300 children died from renal failure.

Communication/Conferences: EU customs 2013 results

Europe - 31 July 2014

July 31, 2014 - The report:

In 2013, the EU customs authorities detained nearly 36 million articles. 10% of the overall amount were medicines and medical devices. The retail value original medical products is € 11,974,020. This amount confirms medicines are still one of the main products counterfeit in the region.
The countries of provenance for these fake medicines are China (65.30%), India (22.78%) and Czech Republic (5.23%). Comparing number of articles seized with means of transport; shipping (62,62%) is the most used mean of transport, followed by freight (11,92%). The postal traffic (post and express) is the main means of shipment used with 19.14%.

Communication/Conferences: A significant increase in seizures of illicit pharmaceuticals by customs in 2013

World - 18 July 2014

July 18, 2014 -

WCO’s report 2013
In its illicit trade report 2013, the World Customs Organization (WCO) reported a significant increase in seizures of illicit pharmaceuticals by customs in 2013. Illicit medicines are the main products, infringing intellectual property rights, with 3 billion of counterfeit products seized by the customs. In second rank, electronic devices recorded a total of 470 million pieces seized. India and China are the top exporters of counterfeit and illicit medicines. The United States, Saudi Arabia and Italia are the main countries targeted by this phenomenon.

Enforcement: FedEx is accused of transporting illicit pharmaceutical products

USA - 17 July 2014

July 17, 2014 -

A survey, led from 2000 till 2010, highlighted that the carrier delivered illicit pharmaceutical products sold by illegal on-line pharmacies. The company, which risks a 1.6$ billion fine is going to appear in front of the Federal Court of San Francisco. The US authorities, Food and Drug Agency (FDA) or the Drug Enforcement Administration (DEA) had already warned FedEx in 2004.
In certain cases, the retailers and the consumers of illicit and/or sold medicine only on prescription, made deliver the goods on a parking or in a public place and threatened the drivers of the transport FedEx. According to the survey, the carrier knew about these practices but continued its deliveries.

Enforcement: What sentence(s) for a trafficker of counterfeit medicines in the United States?

USA - 17 July 2014

July 17, 2014 -

A citizen of the State of the Illinois, already arrested for trafficking of counterfeit medicines, recently took the rap of a punishment of 41 months of detention to which are added 3 years of release on probation and about $62.000 of fines and compensations. The trafficker imported, since China, more than 25.000 counterfeit pills of Viagra. Once in Chicago, counterfeit medicines were partially sent in Houston (Texas) to supply the network of an accomplice.

Enforcement: Canadian authorities suspend Web pharmacy’s licence of one of the most important online pharmacy

Canada - 19 June 2014

June 19, 2014 -

Ottawa has temporarily pulled the licence of one of Canada’s largest Internet pharmacies after an inspection turned up “significant concerns” with the company’s wholesale operations, but the decision has no bearing on the company’s ability to sell hundreds of different drugs directly to patients over the Web. During a routine inspection, the regulator found injectable drugs that were frozen when they should not have been. The U.S. Food and Drug Administration has already kept a close eye on Canada’s Internet pharmacies. In September, 2012, the FDA sent a warning letter to asking it to stop selling “unapproved” and “misbranded” drugs to customers in the U.S. under hundreds of Internet domains with names such as, and

Communication/Conferences: US FDA Gives Tips on Spotting Fake Medicines (1/2)

United States - 13 June 2014

June 13, 2014 -

The FDA advises medicines supply chain stakeholders, which includes wholesalers, regulatory officials, care-givers and patients, to make note of potential signs of suspicious medicines, including:

  • Product labeling that contains misspelled words or looks different from the standard labeling
  • The finished product is a different shape or color from the standard product or has an unusual odor
  • The packaging is missing identifying information such as the lot number or expiration date
  • The original packaging seals have been opened, damaged, repaired or altered.

Communication/Conferences: US FDA Gives Tips on Spotting Fake Medicines (2/2)

United States - 13 June 2014

June 13, 2014 -

As advised by the FDA, if buying drugs from a source that could have a much higher chance of selling fake medicines, we must all be especially vigilant. This would include:

  • Purchasing drugs from a new source
  • Responding to an unsolicited offer, usually with a significantly lower price, that comes through an advertisement, email, fax or telephone call
  • Purchasing a product on the Internet from an unknown source
  • Purchasing a product that is in high demand or one that is on the drug shortage list.

Legislation: Internet - Legiscript says that withdrawing Internet Merchant Anonymity Policy could help to fight against counterfeit medicines online

June 9, 2014 -

According to Legiscript, withdraw the possibility of being anonymous online for the merchants could enhance consumer’s security when they buy medicines online. Indeed, many illicit online pharmacies anonymize their information in order to escape from potential surveys and lawsuits. By paying $9.95 a year, counterfeiters can hide their identity by using a proxy service for example.

Communication/Conference: Sanofi has won the Global Anti-Counterfeiting Award

World - 06 June 2014

June 6, 2014 -

On the 5th of June, SANOFI received the Global Anti-Counterfeiting Award during the world anti-counterfeiting day. SANOFI has consistently and variously initiated campaigns and actions against fake medicine with educational programmes, brochures, online guidance, awareness events, training and technical co-operation with public/private partnerships.

Enforcement: Ministry of Health: 60% of counterfeit drugs produced in Russia

Russia - 06 June 2014

June 6, 2014 -

In 2013, according to the Ministry of Health, 1103 series of substandard drugs have been withdrawn from circulation in Russia. 60% of them were domestic production. Most of the rejected drugs are products manufactured by old companies that have been modernized since Soviet times.

Communication/Conference: According to Sanofi, OTC Cialis could help tackle fakes

World - 05 June 2014

June 5, 2014 -

Sanofi and Eli Lilly have signed an agreement to develop an over-the-counter (OTC) version of the worldwide leading treatment of erectile dysfunction Cialis. The prescription only erectile dysfunction medicines under prescription (such as Pfizer's Viagra and Bayer/GlaxoSmithKline's Levitra) are among the most counterfeit medicines around the world.

Communication/Conferences: New CFDA app on mobile devices available for online checks and news about fake drugs

China - 04 June 2014

June 4, 2014 -

Chinese FDA launched an app on Android and IPhone allowing consumers to stay informed about any news on the matter of fake drugs and get information about products they’re looking to purchase, by entering the number of registration, the name of the company or any other key words.

Enforcement: Massive seizure from China

Spain - 28 May 2014

May 28, 2014 -

The Spanish authorities arrested 13 people suspecting of counterfeiting. They seized nearly 420,000 fake pills in national airports. The seizure of fake medicines included contraceptives, weight loss pills, vitamins, steroids, pain killers and Viagra. Spanish police and custom authorities gave international law enforcement agency Interpol the web IP addresses of 113 websites that illegally distributed medicines.

Communication/Conferences: Counterfeit and fake drugs: a public health and safety challenge

World - 22 May 2014

May 22, 2014 -

On May 13 in Vienna, France and the United Nations Office against Drugs and Crime (ONUDC) have organized the conference “Organized crime and illicit trade of counterfeit goods and fake medicines – A challenge for public health and safety”. They concluded that a law model is needed about counterfeit drugs, in order to help the States to adapt their legislative framework to the threat.

Communication/Conferences: Operation Pangea VII

World - 22 May 2014

May 22, 2014 -

The operation Pangea VII was coordinated by Interpol, the World Customs Organization (WCO), the Permanent Forum on International Pharmaceutical Crime (PFIPC), the Head of Medicine Agencies Working Group of Enforcement Officers (HMA/WGEO) and supported by pharmaceutical industries. From 13 to 20th May 2014, in 111 countries, the authorities seized 9,4 million of counterfeit or illicit medicines. Furthermore, an estimated 11.000 illegal websites were shut down and 19.000 online advertisements were deleted. This operation targeted especially the social networks, the systems of online payment, the electronic message services and the postal centers.

Communication/Conference: Only 20% of Europeans associate counterfeiting with medicines

France - 15 May 2014

May 15, 2014 - Read the Press Release

Committed to the fight against counterfeiting for many years, Sanofi now reveals how Europeans perceive counterfeit drugs through a survey of 5,010 people in France, Germany, Italy, Spain and the United Kingdom. According to the survey conducted by happy curious for Sanofi, only 20% of Europeans associate counterfeiting with medicines

Enforcement: Chinese authorities warn on counterfeit anti-cancer

China - 09 May 2014

May 9, 2014 -

China’s food and drug authority warns on overseas medicines sold online. An investigation has been led in the province of Shenzhen and said that 75% of foreign generic anti-cancer drugs are counterfeit. The price of certain medicines in the domestic market is the main raison of the online buying. According to the authorities, most of the medicines sold online are imported from India.

Enforcement: Increase of the complaints against the purchases of false online medicine in China

China - 01 May 2014

May 1st, 2014 -

The online platform of the Chinese health agency has listed since the beginning of the year more than 12 320 complaints linked to the online sale of counterfeit medicines and medical devices. It registred the Chinese consumers complains. In 2013, more than 210 000 complaints were deposited.

Legislation: General attorneys asked Google to block the illegal online pharmacies.

USA - 18 April 2014

April 18, 2014 -

24 American general attorneys are at the origin of a letter claimant, on behalf of Google, the blocking of the illegal online pharmacies. Engineers of Google work to list keywords as "on-line pharmacy” or "no prescription " and to block the deceitful sites.

Enforcement: Analgesics and antibiotics are the most counterfeit medicines in Colombia

Colombia - 14 April 2014

April 14, 2014 -

According to the Drug Directorate of the Surveillance Institute and Food and Drug Control (INVIMA) analgesics and antibiotics are the main targets of the counterfeiters in Colombia. Indeed, they adapted their traffics on the demand that exists in the market. In March 2014, the Bogota Metropolitan police put an end to a traffic of counterfeit medicines including pediatrics medicines, soothing syrups or sexual enhancers.

Communication/Conferences: The EU launches a new project to fight counterfeit medicines in developing countries.

April 11, 2014 -

On April 7th, 2014, on the occasion of the world Day of the Health, the European Union launched a new project aiming at supporting the fight against the production and the traffic of counterfeit medicines in Cameroon, Ghana, Jordan, Morocco and Senegal. Indeed, these countries are situated along two main ways for the production and the traffic of counterfeit medicines. The European Commission finances the project at the level of 4 million euro over 3 years. This project aims at setting up tools for the authorities and harmonized legal frame.

Enforcement: Record haul of counterfeit medicines

France - 11 April 2014

April 11, 2014 -

2.4 million of counterfeit medicines were seized by French customs at the end of February 2014 in the commercial port of Le Havre (Normandy). The counterfeit products were labelled as Chinese tea. Some of the drugs contain no active ingredients or glucose for example. It represents an important increasing in seizure of counterfeit medicines. The previous record seizure in Europe was for 1.2 million doses of counterfeit medicines, also made in the port of Le Havre, in May 2013.

Legislation: Members of a House Energy and Commerce subcommittee are advocating increasing of the legal sanctions against counterfeit medicines sellers.

USA - 09 April 2014

April 9, 2014 -

Under the Federal Food, Drug, and Cosmetic Act, people who counterfeit drugs face a maximum penalty of $10 000 or 3 years in prison. These penalties have never been updated since 1938. There is a major legal weakness; criminals found to be selling illegal narcotics can be sentenced to as much as life in prison or fined millions of dollars. But the return on counterfeit drugs may be ten times greater than that of narcotics. So, counterfeiting medicines is more profitable and secure for them. But there is an equal risk for public health. According to estimations, there were more than 36 000 illegal online pharmacies in operation in the US. A legislative input should help authorities to fight against this major risk.

Communication/Conferences: The requirement for an international treaty on counterfeit medicines

April 2, 2014 -

The Global Forum on Access to Safe Medicines, took place in London from 2 to 4 April 2014. It grouped together numerous actors of the fight against counterfeit medicines; associations, customs officers, pharmaceutical industries, doctors. During this forum, Bernard Leroy, head of the IRCAM, pleaded in favor of an international treaty on counterfeit medicines. An international harmonization of the laws and definitions of this practice would help the authorities in their fight.

Enforcement: USA – Drop in seizures of counterfeit medicines

United States - 29 March 2014

March 29, 2014 –

Despite a 38.1% increase in counterfeit seizures in the U.S. between 2012 and 2013, seizures of counterfeit medicines decreased.

Since 2008, counterfeit drugs seizures in the U.S showed a sharp increase. From 2012 to 2013 the first drop of 4% of the value of seizures related to pharmaceuticals and care of people goods marked a stop in this alarming rise. From 2011 to 2013, the value of seizures recorded dropped by 44%. Activism of the authorities, resolved to fight against this public health issue, and increased operations struggles implemented by customs are largely responsible for this step in the fight against counterfeit medicines in the U.S. India and China are the main providers for the U.S market of counterfeit medicines.

Communication/Conferences: 3rd Pharmacrime Conference from 26 to 27 March 2014 (Lyon, France)

France - 28 March 2014

March 28, 2014 –

The Pharmacrime Conference is an initiative of the Research Institute Anti-Counterfeit Drugs, in collaboration with the European Commission. The third Pharmacrime Conference finalized a major European project in the fight against counterfeit medicines. Experts in health, customs and police officers from 27 member states toiled to improve the effectiveness of investigations used in the fight against counterfeit medicines in Europe. A major challenge was the standardization of investigation methods in Europe. An operational guide for investigators will be released in June 2014. It aims in particular the issue of the introduction of counterfeit medicines in the EU legal supply chain.

Communication/Conferences: Customs result 2013

France - 12 March 2014

March 12, 2014 -

The French Customs published the 2013 report: among 7.6 million of counterfeit goods seized, 1.354.705 were counterfeit medicines. In order to mitigate the impact of counterfeit medicines on public health, three protocols were signed by the Customs and health professionals’ representative institutions.

Communication/Conferences: How Google is trying to protect your drug supply

United States - 05 March 2014

March 5, 2014 -

Illegal online pharmacies are a particularly dangerous and elusive sector of the growing problem of counterfeit drugs.

As a result, major Internet players—including Google—are working with the federal government to battle the problem. Aiming to pinpoint and verify every alleged online pharmacy is near-impossible, so the focus is instead on limiting their use through consumer education, restricting their appearance in Internet searches, and enforcing harsher punishment.

Enforcement: In Belorussia, we sell drugs that are forbidden in developed countries

Belorussia - 18 February 2014

February 18, 2014 -

Belorussia has one of the most drastic approaches concerning the quality control of drugs on its territory, and that it is almost impossible to buy counterfeit or harmful medicine in Belorussian drugstore. Nevertheless, some medicines banned in developed countries and considered dangerous to health are sold in Belorussia. The following drugs are quoted: Analginum, Spazmalgon, Baralgin , Benalgin, Baralgetas, Tempalgin, Ketarolak.

Legislation: Ukraine will introduce a new system to struggle against counterfeits drugs

Ukraine - 18 February 2014

February 18, 2014 –

Ukraine plans to introduce a system to fight counterfeit and expired drugs. Each drug will receive its own QR code that will provide all the necessary information: Date of production, producer, dealer, pharmacy where the drug was sold… This system aims to help the “Governmental Drugs Service” to be more efficient in the frame of its struggle against expired and counterfeit drugs. The system should be introduced in early 2017.

Communications/Conferences: Launch of a new website aimed at Member States have ratified the Convention Medicrime

January 29, 2014 –

The European Directorate for the Quality of Medicines and Healthcare (EDQM) launched on January 29, a site dedicated to his publications in the field of counterfeit medicines and similar crimes. This new site features include a strategic and a series of key measures to Member States which have ratified the Council of Europe approach. Available online, this guide includes a strategy to assist the authorities in reviewing their legislation on drugs, public health and criminal law.

Enforcement: 3 global agencies involved in the fight against counterfeiting

January 28, 2014 –

Last month, 706 sites selling counterfeit goods, including pharmaceuticals were closed, through the union of several international organizations enforcement. This great victory, conducted under project Cyber Monday is the result of a partnership between the United States and many international organizations, which have already led since 2010 to the closure of more than 2,000 counterfeit sites.

The success of this campaign put the spotlight on the fight against counterfeit drugs, conducted annually in more and more countries.

Enforcement: Turkey - A network of fake drugs against cancer dismantled

Turkey - 16 January 2014

January 16, 2014 –

The efforts of the Turkish government to stop the sales of counterfeit drugs continued last month, with a series of operations in nine cities against a group accused of selling fake drugs against cancer. According to the police, the markets targeted by the group included Turkey, the United States and other countries. The criminal organization operated by tracking cancer patients, and selling a portion of fake drugs in front of hospitals, the other part being sold directly with pharmacies. The members of this group were able to produce fake drugs against flu and cancer, and also repack and sell expired medications.

The 95 patients whose health has been affected by these fake drugs have brought complaints against counterfeiters.

Communication/Conference: UNODC launches an awareness campaign on the 250 billion $ generated annually by counterfeiting

January 14, 2014 – ONUDC.COM

A new global campaign initiated by UNODC was launched today to raise awareness among consumers about 250 billion $ annually under the smuggling of counterfeit goods. The campaign "Counterfeiting: Do not support organized crime" - makes consumers aware that the purchase of counterfeit goods can be a source of funding for organized crime groups, putting the health and safety of consumers at risk and causes of other ethical and environmental concerns. Fraudulent medications also pose a serious risk to the health of consumers. Criminal activity in this area is of great magnitude: selling fraudulent medications East Asia and the Pacific to Southeast Asia and Africa stands alone 5 billion dollars per year, a considerable sum introduced into the illicit economy.

Legislation: USA – Guilty plea for illegal importation of counterfeit drugs

USA - 11 January 2014

January 11, 2014 –

A 45 years old man recently pleaded guilty to one count of conspiracy related to the illegal importation and attempted trafficking of counterfeit drugs and one count of receiving and delivering of misbranded drugs, announced an United States attorney. On Pakistani origin, this legal permanant resident admitted conspiring to illegally import counterfeit drugs mislabeled up to his home in Houston. A total of some 3,200 counterfeit Viagra and 4000 Cialis were sent from China. According to a Special agent from Homeland Security Investigations (HSI) "This conviction is the culmination of a multi-agency effort to prevent the smuggling and distribution of counterfeit pharmaceuticals across international borders".

Legislation: U.S. compounding pharmacies start to register with FDA

United States - 10 January 2014

January 10, 2014 -

11 US compounding pharmacies have begun registering with the Food and Drug Administration under new legislation designed to tighten control of the custom medication makers following a deadly outbreak of fungal meningitis linked to a pharmacy in Massachusetts.

Communications/Conferences: Indonesia - BPOM agrees to curb the sale of drugs online

Indonesia - 09 January 2014

January 9, 2014 –

The Indonesian Authority Food and Drug Administration (BPOM) should intensify measures to curb drug sales online this year, after seeing a sharp rise in sales of fake drugs on the internet in the last three years. For the President of the BPOM, Roy A. Sparringa, the crackdown on sales of fake drugs on the internet is one of the biggest challenges the agency is facing, particularly because of the rapid development of technologies, and tenacity of the dealers to always find new ways to sell their products online, even after the closure of their sites.
In 2013, 721 types of illegal and counterfeit medicines were sold through 129 sites in Indonesia, worth about $ 450,000 dollars.


Legislation: Berne wants to strengthen the fight against counterfeiting

Switzerland - 18 December 2013

December 18, 2013 -

Switzerland wants to step up its fight against counterfeit medical products. The Federal Council has put out for consultation until April 2nd a project to ratify the Council of Europe Convention to improve collaboration between countries and repress fraud. Adaptations of the law should improve the exchange of information and opportunities for criminal investigations. They also aim to clarify the legal situation in the brokerage of therapeutic products. This is to introduce the possibility to monitor email and communications, and the use of secret investigations, in the same way as fight against narco-trafficking.

Communication/Conference: Addis Ababa declaration supports fight against fake medicines across Africa

December 16, 2013 –

The First African regional conference on pharmaceutical crime (10-12 December) concluded with the publication of the Addis Ababa Declaration which recognizes the region’s commitment to strengthening the fight against counterfeit medical products and other pharmaceutical crimes. This conference, organized by INTERPOL, brought together more than 80 representatives of law enforcement agencies and drug regulatory authorities from 20 African countries, as well as experts from international organizations and the private sector. Participants also took part in workshops to discuss regional and other issues including tackling the illicit sale of medicines, the role of public authorities in preventing the use of counterfeit drugs and the need for inter-agency cooperation between health agencies, law enforcement investigations and prosecutors.

Legislation: Decree on counterfeiting: the main novelties

Italy - 13 December 2013

December 13, 2013 –

With the European Directive 2011,/62, the government approved new regulations for selling drugs online, and a new decree on counterfeiting, responsible for defining the new rules to prevent counterfeit medicines. Among the changes resulting from the adoption of this decree is the establishment of a register for the pharmaceutical industry, accredited by the Ministry of Health. This register will record traffic to ensure any liability for irregularities. The measure also amends the current marking of packages that will be replaced by a new anti-counterfeiting system.

Enforcement: FDA warns against fake rabies vaccine

Philippines - 03 December 2013

December 10, 2013 –

The Foods and Drugs Administration (FDA) warned the public against a fake rabies vaccine being offered in commercial establishments and even on the Internet. The FDA and concern pharma company Philippines confirmed the illegally imported and unregistered Purified Chick Embryo Cell (Rabipur) Rabies vaccines on sales in clinics and other drug outlets.

Enforcement: 690 Internet domain names seized because of fraudulent practices

December 2, 2013 -

December 2, 2013 -

December 2, 2013 -

Europol and U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement’s (ICE) Homeland Security Investigations (HSI) teamed with ten law enforcement agencies from eight countries to seize hundreds of domain names that were illegally selling counterfeit merchandise online to unsuspecting consumers. The US ICE IPR Center accounted 297 domain name seizures in the US. Through Europol Member States, Belgium, Denmark, France, Hungary, Romania, Spain and the United Kingdom 393 domain names were seized. This year, operations were also conducted by Hong Kong Customs. The blocked sites were selling counterfeit items of known clothing brands and counterfeit drugs.

Communication/Conference: Ten global health organizations united in a global campaign to protect patients against counterfeit drugs

November 26, 2013 -

November 26, 2013 -

To enable the general public to adopt good habits with drugs, Les Entreprises du Médicament (Leem) launched a new web series called “Medication at home” where the internet user gets into the skin of a character that faces situations of everyday life.

Legislation: Spain – Regional Conference “From signature to ratification and implementation of the Council of Europe Convention on the counterfeiting of medical products and similar crimes involving threats to public health

Spain - 21 November 2013

November 21-22, 2013 -

The Regional conference was being organized by the Council of Europe in partnership with the Ministry of Justice of Spain in Madrid on 21 and 22 November 2013. The aims of the Conference were to encourage member states to sign and ratify the Convention; to raise awareness among members of parliament, law enforcement, NGOs, the media and other professionals working in the field; to discuss the benefits and challenges of ratifying the Convention; to exchange experiences, know-how and promote networking.

Legislation: Usa – U.S. Senate backs bill to regulate bulk drug compounding

Usa - 18 November 2013

November 18, 2013 -

November 22, 2013 -

November 27, 2013 –

President Barack Obama signed a bill into law, known as the Drug Quality and Security Act, which clarifies the law regarding drug compounding and creates a new category of compounding pharmacies known as “outsourcing facilities”. It also creates a national set of standarts to track pharmaceuticals through the distribution chain to help thwart the introduction of fake medications into the drug supply. The new law creates a category of compounding outsourcing facilities that will be able to sell to hospitals in bulk. The facility can choose to register with the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA), in which case it will undergo regular inspections and be subject to tighter quality controls. The law will also create national standards to track and trace drugs amid growing concerns over counterfeit drugs.

Legislation: France – Bill to strengthen the fight against counterfeiting

France - 13 November 2013

November 13, 2013 -

The law Commission adopted the bill to strengthen the fight against counterfeiting filed by Mr. Richard Yung and members of the Socialist Group. The bill is not a reform of the protection of intellectual property rights and the fight against counterfeiting, but makes improvements as well as harmonization of existing mechanisms, both in terms of civil action that in criminal law enforcement, as well as capacity building for customs action.

Legislation: Spain – The Department of Health regulates the online sale of drugs without prescription

Spain - 08 November 2013

November 8, 2013 -

The Council of Ministers approved the proposal of the Minister of Health, Social Services and Equality, Ana Mato, on the Royal Decree which regulates the online sale of drugs without a prescription to the public. Pharmacies that are authorized to sell such drugs online, will present on their website a common logo with a link to a list of authorized online pharmacies, which will be available on the page of the Spanish Agency of Medicines and Health Products (AEMPS).

Communication/Conference: France – Leem launches a new web series: “Medication at home”

France - 04 November 2013

November 4, 2013 -

To enable the general public to adopt good habits with drugs, Les Entreprises du Médicament (Leem) launched a new web series called “Medication at home” where the internet user gets into the skin of a character that faces situations of everyday life.

Communication/Conference: New FDA video offers tips for recognizing rogue pharmacies

November 1, 2013 -

November 1, 2013 -

The Food and Drug Administration has released a new video that warns consumers against buying drugs from rogue-internet pharmacies, part of the FDA’s BesafeRx awareness program. Gary Coody, the FDA’s health fraud coordinator, highlights the agency’s efforts to combat fraudulent online pharmacies and offering tips for recognizing them.

Communication/Conference: Sellers of Unapproved Drugs Proliferate Online, Posing a Serious Threat to Global Public Health, Reports NABP

November 1, 2013 -

November 1, 2013 - (PDF)

The National Association of Boards of Pharmacy® (NABP) today issued a report stressing the continuing global public health threat posed by unapproved drug products distributed via the Internet. According to it, most rogue online drug sellers reviewed by NABP in the last three months offer foreign drug products or medications not approved by the United States Food and Drug Administration (FDA), as do nearly half of all rogue sites NABP has reviewed since 2008. Global stakeholders – including regulators, public health organizations, and private entities – agree that drug products failing to meet national regulatory safeguards place patient health at risk. NABP and its member state boards of pharmacy continue to encourage and work with federal regulators and other public and private entities to educate the public about the dangers of unapproved drugs and other risks of buying medications from rogue Internet drug sellers.

Enforcement: Medicines Cartel

Colombia - 27 October 2013

October 27, 2013 -

October 28, 2013 -

The counterfeit pharmaceutical trade in Colombia could be as profitable as the illegal drugs market, according to Colombia's customs chief, illustrating how organized crime groups are taking advantage of a growing global enterprise thought to be worth billions of dollars. In the last year and a half, Colombian authorities have seized more than five million units of counterfeit drugs intended for resale, worth a total of more than $2 million. Profit margins were between 500 and 1,000 percent, making the trade potentially as lucrative as selling illicit drugs.

Enforcement: Authorities seized nearly 6 tons of adulterated drugs in Lambayeque

Peru - 14 October 2013

October 14, 2013 -

About six tons of adulterated drugs, expired and smuggled were seized so far this year in different raids in Lambayeque. Oscar Reluz Salazar, Executive Director of Medicines, Supplies and Drugs (DIREMID), said that they intensified operations and interventions in this period against clandestine pharmacies, drugstores located on the outskirts of the city and some districts where drugs are sold without prescription. He added that during these operations, antibiotics, antipyretics and antispasmodics were seized. He said that so far this year, 12 pharmacies have been closed temporarily for health safety measures for less than 30 days.

Legislation: Counterfeit medicines: the Council or Europe takes the Medicrime Convention to the global level

October 14, 2013 -

Seventy participants from 32 countries from all continents, whether they are member and observer states of the Council of Europe or observer states of the European Pharmacopoeia Commission, met on the 16th and 17th of October in Strasbourg to discuss the necessary collaborative measures that would enable a rapid ratification of the MEDICRIME Convention by the largest number of countries worldwide.

Communication/Conference: Information campaign on the sale of drugs online

France - 24 September 2013

September 24, 2013 -

Marisol Touraine, Minister of Social Affairs and Health, announced the launch of an information campaign on the online sale of drugs. It gives guidelines on how to safely buy drugs online. Run online, the campaign, which is aimed at the general public, invites users to see the list of allowed sites by the French government. These sites must be backed by an existing physical pharmacy and adhere to strict specifications. The objective is to ensure the same level of quality and safety, whether the drug comes from an online or physical pharmacy.

Legislation: INTERPOL African Conference in Algeria unites regional law enforcement against transnational crime

Algeria - 10 September 2013

September 10, 2013 -

September 13, 2013 -

The president of INTERPOL, Mireille Ballestrazzi announced on 10 September 2013, at the opening of the 22nd edition of the Interpol African Regional Conference in Oran (Algeria), the upcoming launch of operations of combined controls borders between African countries affected by trafficking in counterfeit drugs.

Communication/Conference: International conference of false drug awareness in Vietnam from September 11 to 12, 2013

Vietnam - 10 September 2013

September 10, 2013 -

A sensitization conference, in partnership with the FSP Mekong criminal police academy in Vietnam and IRACM, brought together experts and speakers from the police, customs and health authorities in Vietnam, Cambodia, Laos and Thailand. The international conference was held in Hanoi, Vietnam, and focused on the fight against fake drugs and threats in the Mekong region.

Fight the fakes