As the World Health Organization claims that up to 30% of drugs from Asia, Africa and Latin America are fake, ‘Fight the Fakes’ advocacy campaign will need all the help it can get to raise awareness of the situation. The 11 new partners brings the total number of member organizations to 25, which includes groups representing wholesalers, pharmacists, mobile app services and coalitions for consumer protection.
Fight the Fakes spokeswoman Morgane De Pol told us, “For a campaign that is less than six months underway, we are very encouraged by the interest across the global health community. We've started to make inroads on social media which is our main channel for awareness building.”
One recent example of work done by the nonprofit occurred on World Malaria Day where the group brought more attention to the dangers of fake medicines to treat malaria. Up to 30% of malaria medicines are fake and have the potential to create further public health challenges by increasing resistance to real malaria medicines, De Pol told us.
The group is interested in adding more partners as it continues to build a global movement to highlight the negative impact of falsified medicines.
“The aim is to be very inclusive, any organisation or professional grouping, involved at any stage in delivering health care is welcome to join. We believe that fake medicines must be tackled at all levels of the supply chain,” De Pol said. “All types of medicines are subject to counterfeiting, whether life-style drugs or life-saving treatment, branded or generic. For this reason, having the Generic Pharmaceutical Association (GPhA) join the campaign sends an important message that all segments of the pharmaceutical manufacturing industry are united in fighting fake medicines.”
In addition to GPhA, the other new partners are the Alliance for Safe Online Pharmacies, the Alliance for Safe Online Pharmacy in the EU, the Center for Safe Internet Pharmacies, the European Association of Pharmaceutical Wholesalers, the International Federation of Pharmaceutical Wholesalers, the International Pharmaceutical Students Federation, Mobilium, the Partnership for Safe Medicines (PSM), PSM India and the Pharmaceutical Security Institute.
“Patient and consumer safety is the generic pharmaceutical industry’s number one priority,” said Ralph Neas, President and CEOof 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.”
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.”