Pharmacy Voice is calling on Government to work with industry stakeholders to strengthen the protection against counterfeit medicines, as a new EU report shows that medical products accounted for the biggest haul of counterfeit products detained by EU customs officers last year (2011.)
The ‘Report on EU customs enforcement of intellectual property rights’ found that over 27 million medical products were intercepted by customs officers in 2011. This accounted for 24% of all detained products.
Gareth Jones, from Pharmacy Voice said:
“As the health care professional who sees the patient most, and with a focus on the safe supply and use of medicines, pharmacists have been very concerned by the cases of counterfeit medicines entering the legitimate supply chain and in some cases reaching the end-user. The EU Falsified Medicines Directive provides a potential platform for tackling this problem.”
“We have been meeting with manufacturers and wholesalers to work out how systems could be implemented to efficiently and cost-effectively reduce the risk of counterfeit medicines reaching patients. It is vital that we develop a system that not only avoids increasing bureaucracy and workload in pharmacy but also does not leave opportunities open to counterfeiters. Our message to the Government is that this task should be left to those already working across the medicines supply chain, as they are best-placed to deliver this system.”
The Falsified Medicines Directive will take a number of years to implement but it is likely that by around 2017 pharmacists in the UK will be required to perform anti-counterfeit checks.
The ‘Report on EU customs enforcement of intellectual property rights’can be downloaded here.