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POST issues counterfeiting report

POST has compiled a report examining how the global trade in counterfeit medicines affects the UK and the options available to combat it

The UK Parliamentary Office of Science and Technology (POST) has compiled a report examining how the global trade in counterfeit medicines affects the UK and the technologies and policy options available to combat it.

The report begins by stating that counterfeiting of medicines is increasing, is often linked to other criminal activities and poses risks to public health. It considers the extent of the global counterfeit medicine trade, its impact in the UK and the technologies and policy options available to combat it, as well as examines the risks and benefits of online pharmacies, one of the main channels for the distribution of counterfeit products.

Outlining current responses to counterfeiting, the report details plans by the European Commission to strengthen medicine supply chains though a proposed directive, but states this is unlikely to be enforced before 2012. It also provides insight into the UK's MHRA consultation on policies to improve the security of the regulated national supply chain.  

In addition to the report, POST has created a 15-minute podcast, which discusses the role that industry, government and Parliament can play in tackling the counterfeiting of medicines problem. The podcast includes commentary from Pfizer UK medical director, Dr David Gillen, as well as head of enforcement at the Medicine and Healthcare products Regulatory Agency (MHRA), Mick Deats, and member of parliament, Dr Howard Stoate.

The report follows a study commissioned by Pfizer which found sales of illicit medicines in Europe topped €10.5bn

22nd February 2010

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