The Partnership for Safe Medicines (PSM) has established a presence in India to bring together local stakeholders and protect consumers from counterfeit medicines.
Establishing PSM India is intended to raise public awareness about safety risks associated with counterfeit products and how to identify spurious drugs. It is also recognition that counterfeit medicines are a global problem that will only be tackled through coordinated international effort.
“Counterfeit drugs are borderless, dangerous and present an equal threat to people of all races, classes and nationalities”, said Scott LaGanga, executive director of PSM. India has made important anti-counterfeiting contributions, said LaGanga, and “has a vital role going forward”.
Formation of the affiliate is “the first time in decades” stakeholders in Indian healthcare have “joined in a shared and aggressive effort to help protect consumers from the effects of this crisis”, said Bejon Misra, trustee of the Consumer Online Foundation and founder of PSM India.
The first secretary of the US embassy; joint secretary to the Indian government, Department of Pharmaceuticals; and chairman of the National Pharmaceutical Pricing Authority attended the launch.
PSM India has established a website to allow these officials, others in business and government and consumers to access and share information. It is hoped this will support strengthening of regulations and give consumers knowledge needed to protect themselves from counterfeits.
Using the internet anti-counterfeiting information can be spread not just within India but between consumers around the world. In this way a tool that has done much to help the spread of counterfeit products, namely the internet, can help protect consumers from the harm they cause.
“PSM India is exactly the type of effort that is needed to educate consumers and identify meaningful solutions that apply to every nation and region across the globe”, said Tom Kubic, president and CEO of the Pharmaceutical Security Institute (PSI).