The International Federation of Pharmaceutical Manufacturers and Associations (IFPMA) and the Global Fund to Fight AIDS, Tuberculosis and Malaria today announced a broad-based partnership to help prevent patients from being harmed by fake medicines.
Fake medicines put patients and the general public at risk. Patients believe they are receiving genuine treatment, when instead they are getting potentially dangerous products that could cause further illness, disability or even death. Their use can also lead to the development of treatment resistance.
While people in low- and middle-income countries are often at greater risk than those in high-income countries, fake medicines are a global problem. Fake medicines are reported in virtually every region of the world.
In high-income countries, incidence of fake medicines is less than 1% of market value according to the estimates of the countries concerned. Figures about sales of fake medicines rise to 10% globally, but in some areas of Asia, Africa and Latin America fake medicines may account for up to 30% of medicines in circulation. In Africa, one-third of all malaria medicines are probably fake. It is estimated that one in two medicines purchased on illegal Internet sites that hide their physical addresses is fake
“Effective treatments and technologies exist for HIV, TB and Malaria and our challenge at the Global Fund is to get those effective interventions to all patients that need them. Fake medicines compromise our mission to save lives. We are delighted to join forces with IFPMA and invite other partners to join our efforts to get effective, safe, genuine treatments to the people who need them,” said Mark Dybul, Executive Director of the Global Fund.
The partnership builds on the recently-launched global public service campaign, « Fight the Fakes », to raise awareness of the dangers of fake medicines.
Launched on 26 November 2013, Fight the Fakes (www.fightthefakes.org) comprises 10 partners representing healthcare professionals, disease-specific organizations, product development partnerships, foundations, international financing institutions, and the research-based pharmaceutical industry. The campaign will create a global movement of organizations and individuals that will speak up and help spread the word about this under-reported, yet growing threat to public health.