Geneva, 6 June 2014 — Following the campaign’s six-month anniversary, Fight the Fakes is proud to announce eleven new partners, bringing the total number of member organizations to twenty-five. New partners, representing wholesalers, pharmacists, mobile app services, coalitions for consumer protection and generic pharmaceutical manufacturers, join the campaign to speak up and spread the word about the devastating impact of fake medicines. These organizations add to a diverse group of standing partners, including healthcare professionals, disease-specific organizations, research-institutes, product-development partnerships, foundations, non-profits and the private sector, coordinating efforts in the fight against fake medicines.
Fake medicines put patients and the general public at risk. People exposed to fake medicines believe they are receiving a genuine treatment, but instead they are getting potentially dangerous products that could increase 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 can account for up to 30% of the drug supply chain in parts of Asia, Africa and Latin America. All types of medicines are subject to counterfeiting, whether life-style drugs or life-saving treatment, branded or generic.
Fight the Fakes partners believe that a comprehensive strategy to combat fake medicines requires an active participation that involves all stakeholders, leveraging competencies at local, national and global levels.
The eleven new partners are the Alliance for Safe Online Pharmacies (ASOP), the Alliance for Safe Online Pharmacy in the EU (ASOP EU), the Center for Safe Internet Pharmacies (CSIP), the European Association of Pharmaceutical Wholesalers (GIRP), the Generic Pharmaceutical Association (GPhA), the International Federation of Pharmaceutical Wholesalers (IFPW), the International Pharmaceutical Students Federation (IPSF), Mobilium, the Partnership for Safe Medicines (PSM), PSM India and the Pharmaceutical Security Institute (PSI).
“Patient and consumer safety is the generic pharmaceutical industry’s number one priority,” said Ralph G. Neas, President and CEO, Generic Pharmaceutical Association (GPhA). “That is why GPhA is pleased to stand with Fight the Fakes. It is critically important to strengthen supply chain security through efforts such as drug tracking system modernization, e-labeling and other initiatives that enhance the ability of regulators to limit risks posed by the proliferation of adulterated or counterfeit drugs. Together, we can work to ensure continued access to safe, affordable medicines.”
“Pharmaceutical wholesalers are very excited to become a partner of the Fight the Fakes campaign,” saysMark Parrish, the International Federation of Pharmaceutical Wholesalers (IFPW) President. “IFPW takes the problem of fake medicines very seriously and we are committed to continue securing the international supply chain so that fake medicines do not end up in doctors’ offices, clinics, pharmacies, health centers, hospitals, and ultimately in the hands of the patients that need these life-saving treatments.”
“We all must work together to combat fake medicines, in particular illegal online drug sellers as the problem is too big, too lucrative for criminals and too complex for anyone to be able to stop it alone. ASOP is proud to join Fight the Fakes as we are committed to working with others in order to protect patients globally” saidLibby Baney, Executive Director of the Alliance for Safe Online Pharmacies. Mike Isles, Alliance for Safe Online Pharmacies (ASOP) EU Executive Director, added “It is estimated that 97% of online drug seller sites are operating in violation of applicable laws, and with 30,000 fake websites out there targeting the European population alone on any given day this demonstrates is the extent of the problem that we are facing. Addressing fake medicines requires significant education and knowledge about the dangers. ASOP EU joins as a partner of the Fight the Fakes campaign to further contribute to raising awareness around this issue, so that people may keep themselves and their families protected.”
“IPSF believes that teaching pharmaceutical students about the prevalence and dangers of fake medicines is essential,” says Radoslaw Mitura, International Pharmaceutical Students Federation (IPSF) President. “We’re coordinating our efforts with partners of the Fight the Fakes campaign to equip the next generation of pharmacists with the knowledge and experience to combat the growing global problem of fake medicines.”
Fake medicines are a crime against patients that must be tackled each day, across all continents and at all levels of the supply chain. Fight the Fakes is fast becoming a major platform, representing the large variety of perspectives from the global health community joining forces to speak up and spread the word about the threat of fake medicines to global health.
Standing Fight the Fakes partners: the Dutch Malaria Foundation, Fondation Chirac, the Global Pharma Health Fund (GPHF), International Council of Nurses (ICN), International Federation for Pharmaceutical Manufacturers and Associations (IFPMA), International Institute of Research Against Counterfeit Medicines (IRACM), Malaria Consortium, Medicines for Malaria Venture (MMV), NCD Alliance, the Roll Back Malaria Partnership (RBM), Sproxil, U.S. Pharmacopeial Convention (USP), World Heart Federation (WHF) and World Medical Association (WMA).