In an interview at CPhI 2010 in Paris, France Villax said emails promoting fake drugs are the tip of the counterfeiting iceberg. For the past five years the European Fine Chemicals Group (EFCG) has worked to expose what lies below the waterline – falsified APIs.
Villax said following a number of catastrophes, such as heparin contamination, regulators are clearly aware of the severity of the situation but communication remains complicated.
“It’s complicated to explain to legislators and politicians because nobody would imagine that in an industry like pharmaceuticals, you’d have gangsters”, said Villax.
Creation of the Falsified Medicines Directive is part of European efforts to tackle the problem. Villax said the three key points for the EFCG are: mandatory inspections of overseas API plants; a definition of falsified medicines that takes APIs into account; and country of origin labelling.