EU to support the fight against the production and the trafficking in falsified medicines
Ahead of World Health Day on April 7, the European Union has launched a new project which will support the fight against the production and the trafficking in falsified medicines in Cameroon, Ghana, Jordan, Morocco and Senegal, which are situated along two of the main routes for the production and trafficking in falsified medicines (from Arabian Peninsula and Middle East to West/Central Africa; from East/Horn of Africa, via Yemen and Sudan, to Central Africa).
Falsified medicines are a major threat to public health and safety as they usually contain ingredients which are of bad quality, in the wrong dose or simply ineffective, and in some cases even toxic.
European Commissioner for Development, Andris Piebalgs, said: “Falsified medicines have become an important source of income for organised crime groups, with extremely high returns, hampering the peaceful development of these countries. ‘With this project we will provide training – to support investigation and criminal justice services, as well as to provide technical support – to detect and analyse suspicious medicines and raise awareness of the risks related to the use of falsified medicines.”
Falsified medicine is a problem that affects developed countries as well as developing countries, since patients all around the world are likely to fall prey to falsified medical products. Accessibility to medical treatments and medical products in many developing countries is a challenge in itself, making them particularly exposed and vulnerable to the dangers of falsified medicines. Approximately 100,000 deaths per year in Africa are due to the trade of falsified medicines (according to the World Health Organisation).
The project will enable the national judicial, control and law enforcement authorities to efficiently respond to the fight against falsified medicines, providing them with the necessary legal framework and capacities to conduct these operations effectively. Countries concerned will be able to share their expertise and best practices, as well as to network in order to harmonise their policies at trans-regional level; potentially leading to joint operations.
The European Commission is contributing more than €4 million to this 3 year project. The funds made available for this project have been provided under the Instrument contributing to Stability and Peace (IcSP).
source: EU Press