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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.


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