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Issues on Counterfeit Drugs Overshadow Medicine Quality Problem

By October 22, 2015 - 7:26pm

Fraudulent drugs and substandard medicines pose as threats to public health and safety. Many non-profit organizations such as the World Health Organization (WHO), Interpol and respective Food and Drug Administration (FDA) of each country around the world have set up projects to eliminate the number of illegal smuggling of drugs in interisland dealerships. However, a lot of analysts have reviewed that instead of eradicating the proliferation of counterfeited medicines, pharmaceutical companies and the government should learn to develop and focus on the quality of legitimate medicines in the market to fully obliterate illegal operations.

Admittedly, The Peterson Group, a non-profit organization campaigning against any usage and manufacture of counterfeit, substandard and fake medicines, have expressed their dismay on a report released on the effectiveness of experimentally-based medicines and generic medicines circulating in the market.

Say for example the government of Indonesia. With the politicians and the authorities doing everything their best in taking down counterfeited medicines, a number of cases in which patients have complained of the commercial branding of patented medicines have been overlooked. In Jakarta, trademarks of legitimate companies are being doubted of fraudulence.

Access campaign has also emphasized a point on their recent review. There is another problem with the use of existing legal definitions to fight fake drugs. These definitions make no distinction between willful trademark counterfeiting (a deliberate intention to deceive) and civil trademark infringement (when two brand names or packages are too similar from the rights-holder's perspective).

They added, “Legitimately registered generic medicines could therefore be accused of being counterfeit solely because of a civil trademark dispute — on the basis of a similar-looking pill, for example.”

Genuine drugs that fail to meet quality, strength, packaging and purity are pointed out as bigger problems than counterattacking fake drugs. Pharmaceutical companies often take advantage of the authorities’ diverted attention to produce less quality medicines much to their profit. This is where the conflict between the government and private companies incites.

To improve the quality of medicines and protect patients, the WHO and governments must push drug companies to comply with the WHO's good manufacturing practices, increase local capacity for technical evaluation, and actively identify and remove substandard and fake drugs from the supply chain.

At this stage, countries should think twice about adopting anti-counterfeiting legislation that could harm trade in legitimate generic medicines. Not including a definition of counterfeit medicine in health legislation will not stop them taking action against unsafe drugs.

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