[Ip-health] AFP: Brazil, India urge WHO to dump drug firms from counterfeit fight

Thiru Balasubramaniam thiru at keionline.org
Thu May 20 05:21:14 PDT 2010

19 May 2010 - 19H52

Brazil, India urge WHO to dump drug firms from counterfeit fight

Brazil and India on Wednesday urged the World Health Organisation to  
cut its link with big pharmaceutical firms in the fight against  
counterfeit medication.
They claim that these major drugmakers are unfairly labelling generic  
medicines as counterfeits, and using the fight against fake medication  
to suppress competitors who are making lawful generic drugs.

"A divorce is inevitable," Brazil said at the annual World Health  
Assembly meeting in Geneva this week.

Brazil and India are big producers of generic drugs.

Together with some Latin American and African developing countries,  
the two countries called on the WHO to end a partnership established  
in 2006 called IMPACT (International Medical Products Anti- 
Counterfeiting Taskforce), which includes groups that represent the  
interest of pharmaceutical firms.

The group also includes key inter-governmental agencies such as  
Interpol, the World Customs Organization, the World Bank and the World  
Trade Organisation.

"The role of IMPACT is controversial," said India, adding that  
governments should be the ones in charge of the fight against  
counterfeit medicines.

In response, WHO director-general Margaret Chan only said that IMPACT  
was created before she arrived at the WHO.

To that, Kenya offered a riposte, telling Chan: "If you're not  
satisfied with the marriage, you could ask for a divorce."

The proliferation of potentially lethal or harmful counterfeit  
medicines has been on the rise, particularly with the increased usage  
of the Internet worldwide.

According to the WHO, more than half of all medicines bought online  
are fake.

Malaria treatments are the main counterfeit medicines sold by criminal  
organisations, according to the International Pharmaceutical  
Federation, which represents two million pharmacists worldwide.

	• AFP
	• Heath


Thiru Balasubramaniam
Geneva Representative
Knowledge Ecology International (KEI)
thiru at keionline.org

Tel: +41 22 791 6727
Mobile: +41 76 508 0997

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