Substandard and falsified medical products are two different threats to patient’s health that can result in death, disability, and increased illness for patients. Their broader implications in healthcare however, go far beyond: from adding to the problem of antimicrobial resistance to creating mistrust in health systems and healthcare professionals, these products represent added costs to the system and further strain resources that are oftentimes already too thin. A coordinated response to this threat must look both at the problem of substandard and of falsified medicines, acknowledging their differences and the need for different approaches for each issue.
Robust regulatory oversight is key in combating substandard and falsified medicines. We urge Member States to put in place regulatory frameworks that effectively prevent these medicines from reaching and harming patients, including regulation on online sales of medical products.
Concurrent to this is the need for capacity building through embedding courses about substandard and falsified medical products in pharmacy school curriculum, especially in the context of the current environment of the manufacture and distribution of medical products as it evolves with new technologies. We believe that training pharmacists on the dangers of these products is paramount, as well as giving them the right tools to act upon it and report suspicious products. We stand ready to collaborate with WHO and its Member State Mechanism on this topic.
As partners in promoting global health, IPSF and members of Fight the Fakes are playing our roles in raising awareness on the dangers of falsified medicines and empowering people to act on this issue.We welcome the possibility of further collaborating with WHO to drive forward the endeavors of its Member State Mechanism, as we believe that a holistic approach encompassing collaboration between all stakeholders involved in the manufacture and distribution of medicines is essential in our fight against substandard and falsified medicines.