A Council of Europe conference proposes the establishment of an international convention to combat counterfeit medicines.
The Council of Europe (CoE) conference ‘Europe against Counterfeit Medicines’ brought together, on 23-24 October 2006, representatives of the major players involved in the manufacture and sale of pharmaceuticals, health professions, consumer and patient associations and CoE experts to discuss legal means to fight this phenomenon.
The conference conclusions propose drafting an appropriate international legal document (convention) on co-operation between the 46 Council of Europe member states to combat pharmaceutical crime – counterfeit medicines and other medicinal products included.
The conference participants agreed that the future convention should define pharmaceutical offences as ‘serious crime’ and penalise the manufacture and distribution of counterfeit drugs. At national level, provisions to control the quality of components for pharmaceutical uses, packaging material and manufacturing processes should be adopted in accordance with the standards laid down by the European Pharmacopoeia.
The participants also urged the governments to inform the general public of the risks and consequences of taking counterfeit medicines.