Fight The Fakes

Fight the Fakes aligns the actions of leading public health organizations, coordinating their efforts to speak up against fake medicines. It gives a voice to those who have been personally impacted and to those working to put a stop to this public health threat.

Campaign objectives

  • Raise the profile of the danger of fake medicines at a global level;
  • Share the stories of people affected by fake medicines and of those working against this public health threat;
  • Create a digital platform that serves as an information hub about fake medicines;
  •  Seize opportunities and align action in the fight against fake medicines worldwide.

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 their resistance to real treatments, and cause further illness, disability or even death. Though it is a challenge to measure the scope of these dangerous products, the World Health Organization (WHO) estimates that fake medicines could account for up to 10% of medicines in the supply chain globally, and up to 30% of the drug supply chain in parts of Asia, Africa and Latin America.

Fake medicines may contain the wrong ingredients, the wrong dose, or no active ingredients at all; they can be long-standing or new medicines, over-the-counter or prescription, branded or generic. In some cases, they contain dangerous substances and poisons including mercury, antifreeze, paint and rat poison.

Fake medicines used to treat communicable diseases such as malaria and tuberculosis can also undermine entire public health initiatives by exposing communities to greater drug resistance.

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Fight the Fakes is a campaign that aims to raise awareness about the dangers of fake medicines. The campaign gives a voice to those who have been personally impacted and shares the stories of those working to put a stop to this threat to public health.

It seeks to build a global movement of organizations and individuals who will shine a light on the negative impact that fake medicines have on people around the globe. Fight the Fakes partners share the belief that strong coordination among all actors involved in the manufacturing and distribution of medicines is vital to tackle this public health threat.

As part of this effort, Fight the Fakes is collecting resources and updates on this issue and is encouraging the public to help speak up and spread the word about this threat to patients. The website serves as a hub for resources for organizations and individuals who are looking to support this effort by outlining opportunities for action and sharing what others are doing to fight fake medicines.

Fight the Fakes partners represent doctors, nurses, pharmacists, research institutes, NGOs and foundations, academic institutions, coalitions for consumer protection, product development partnerships, mHealth providers, pharmaceutical wholesalers, the research-based and generics pharmaceutical industry and civil engagement networks. Learn more about our partners here.

15% of medicines worldwide

may be fake

Up to 30% of medicines

may be fake in some regions

Virtually all countries

are impacted by fake medicines

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