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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.


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