GENEVA, Nov. 26, 2013 /CNW/ -
Fake medicines put patients and the general public at risk. Patients
believe they are receiving genuine treatment, but instead they are
getting potentially dangerous products that could increase resistance
to real treatments, and cause further illness, disability or even
Fight the Fakes campaign (http://www.fightthefakes.org) will raise awareness about the dangers of fake medicines by giving a
voice to those who have been personally impacted and sharing the
stories of those working to put a stop to this threat to public health.
Organizations and individuals are invited to join the campaign and speak
up to help spread the word about the dangers of fake medicines.
Addressing this health threat requires public awareness and coordinated
actions by all relevant actors globally.
Fight the Fakes supports the World Health Organisation (WHO) Mechanism to combat
Products and calls for international, multi-stakeholder collaboration
under WHO's leadership.
Fake medicines increasingly put patients and the general public at risk
across the world. In response to this challenge, ten partners who represent healthcare professionals, disease-specific organizations,
product-development partnerships, foundations, international financing
institutions, as well as the research-based pharmaceutical industry
have joined forces to raise awareness about the dangers of fake
The Fight the Fakes (http://www.fightthefakes.org) campaign will create a global movement of organizations and
individuals that will speak up and help spread the word about this
under-reported, yet growing threat to public health.
"Fake medicines are one of the biggest threats to global public health.
You have people, everywhere in the world, they only think about the
money, their profits and don't think about the consequences - they
don't think about public health. It's a global problem and we all need
to come on board in fighting together, and once we're able to do that
we are going to make some real strides globally in fighting counterfeit
medicines", says Dr. Stephen Opuni, Chief Executive of the Ghana Food
and Drugs Authority.
Fake medicines trick patients into believing they are receiving genuine
medicines while they are getting deceitful products that could cause
further illness, disability or even death. Furthermore, fake medicines
pose a public health threat by contributing to the development of
While people in low- and middle-income countries are often at greater
risk than those in high-income countries, fake medicines are a global
problem. Fake medicines are reported in virtually every region of the
world. In high income countries, incidence of fake medicines is less
than 1% of market value according to the estimates of the countries
concerned. Figures about sales of fake medicines rise to 10% globally,
but in some areas of Asia, Africa and Latin America fake medicines may
account for up to 30% of medicines in circulation. In Africa, one-third
of all malaria medicines are probably fake. It is estimated that one medicine in two purchased on illegal Internet
sites that hide their physical address is fake.
Fake medicines can mimic brand-name or generic prescription or
over-the-counter medicines. Nearly any type of pharmaceutical product
can be and has been counterfeited: whether 'lifestyle' medicines,
including erectile dysfunction and weight loss medicines, or lifesaving
medicines including those used to treat malaria, tuberculosis,
HIV/AIDS, cancer, heart disease, diabetes and other life-threatening
The negative impact of fake medicines is widespread and the environment
in which the manufacturing, transportation, distribution, and
consumption of these counterfeit products takes place is complex,
making it more difficult to address this challenge. In launching this
new campaign, partners share the belief that to address this public
health threat, public awareness and coordinated actions among all
actors involved in the manufacturing and distribution of medicines are
vital. Partners will bring to bear their experience, knowledge and
insights, and work together to protect patients across all regions of
the world, and call for the creation and strict application of
legislative and regulatory frameworks to effectively combat this global
As part of this effort, the campaign website (http://www.fightthefakes.org) highlights the stories of people whose lives have been impacted by
fake medicines and of people who are working to stop this crime in
order to raise the profile of the dangers and impact of fake medicines
in our communities. The website also serves as a resource for
organizations and individuals who are looking to support this effort by
sharing resources, outlining opportunities for action and reporting
what others are doing to fight fake medicines.
Participation in the Fight the Fakes campaign is open to all involved in public health and already active in
combating fake medicines, but also to those from other walks of life
eager to join the fight against fake medicines. To join the campaign,
please visit http://www.fightthefakes.org.
Related materials: Video: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=t_tQFB99ArE
1. International Council of Nurses (ICN); International Federation of Pharmaceutical Manufacturers and
Associations (IFPMA); International Institute of Research Against Counterfeit Medicines
(IRACM); Medicines for Malaria Venture (MMV); NCD Alliance; The Fondation Chirac; The Global Fund to Fight AIDS, Tuberculosis and Malaria; World Heart Federation (WHF); World Medical Association (WMA); U.S. Pharmacopeial Convention (USP). 2. http://www.thelancet.com/journals/lancetid/article/PIIS1473-3099%2812%2970064-6/abstract 3. http://www.who.int/mediacentre/factsheets/fs275/en/index.html
SOURCE: Fight the Fakes
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