Today the OECD and the European Union Intellectual Property Office published an extensive study on the issues and challenges posed by trade in counterfeit pharmaceutical products for governments, businesses and society.
Medicines for Europe member companies are at the forefront of the fight against counterfeit medicines. The European Union and industry have been working hand-in-hand to combat counterfeit and falsified medicines. In 2011, the EU adopted a Falsified Medicines Directive in order to prevent falsified medicines from reaching patients in Europe. As a result, since February 2019, prescription medicines in Europe must bear a 2-D datamatrix and anti-tampering device to enable pharmacists to verify their authenticity.
For the generic medicines industry, which supplies over 67% of prescription medicines, the effort was immense from a manufacturing, IT and regulatory perspective. Medicines for Europe members and other industry stakeholders set up European and national IT hubs (EMVO & NMVOs) with an investment of over 1 billion euros.
Adrian van den Hoven, Director General of Medicines for Europe and current President of EMVO stated: “The study published today confirms the importance of building a strong system that is able to prevent falsified medicines from entering the legal supply chain through which medicines reach patients. The huge financial investment by our members to put in place the FMD system aims primarily at ensuring that patients have access to safe medicines. Medicines for Europe remains committed to combating counterfeit medicines and will continue to cooperate with all stakeholders to ensure patient safety”