[Ip-health] Attaran and Bate promoting an "int'l crime" of counterfeiting

amy kapczynski akapczynski at law.berkeley.edu
Thu Sep 16 06:13:48 PDT 2010

The full paper ins't available on SSRN - does anyone have a copy?


Why and How to Make an International Crime of Medicine Counterfeiting

Amir Attaran 
University of Ottawa: Faculties of Law and Medicine

Roger Bate 
American Enterprise Institute (AEI)

Megan Kendall 
University of Ottawa - Faculty of Law


Although counterfeit medicines are a global problem, which sicken or kill at least thousands of people a year, currently international law does not even attempt to criminalize their manufacture or trade as it does currency (i.e. money) counterfeiting - a serious and inexplicable omission. In this paper, we summarize the current medical and public health evidence that counterfeit medicines are a serious danger to human well-being, and we review legal doctrines from treaties on other subjects and from the jurisprudence on crimes against humanity to argue that a treaty to criminalize acts associated with counterfeit medicines is both timely and possible. We argue that such a treaty should be negotiated under the auspices of the World Health Organization, and present a practical review of how this could be achieved.

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