[Ip-health] WHO-EB130 - Substandard/spurious/falsely-labelled/falsified/counterfeit medical products: Statement of Churches/PHM/TWN's

Heba Wanis h.wanis at googlemail.com
Mon Jan 23 00:51:24 PST 2012

WHO EB 130
Agenda Item 6.13 Substandard/spurious/falsely
labelled/falsified/counterfeit medical products: report of the Working
Group of Member States

Statement by CMC-Churches Action for Health/ People's Health Movement/
Third World Network
Delivered by Heba Wanis


Thank you, Mr. Chairman.

I make this statement on behalf of CMC Churches Action for Health,
People's Health Movement and Third World Network

Mr. Chairman,

Every individual has the right to quality medicines. n this regard we
would like to raise a couple of points:

1. Medicines need to be available and affordable. If  patients’ demand
are met promptly, the incentive for engaging in criminal activities
will be diminished. However if medicines are unaffordable, desperate
patients will try illegitimate sources. Thus we urge members to find
solutions to deal with high prices.

2. Focus of members must be on strengthening regulatory capacity.

A 2010 WHO study of 26 African DRAs concluded that “On the whole,
countries did not have the capacity to control the quality, safety and
efficacy of the medicines circulating on their markets or passing
through their territories.”

Prices and regulatory capacity clearly need urgent action.
Unfortunately nowadays attention is on “quick fixes” such as on
enforcement agencies which are unlikely to address quality issues in
the absence of adequate regulatory support.

3. Some developed countries are selling IP enforcement as a solution.
This solution tends to create barriers to access, rather than resolve
quality issues. Example in 2011 as a result of IP rules the Dutch
customs seized medicines en route from India to Suriname. Though the
shipment was released, the packaging was much damaged. We stress that
IP enforcement is not the solution

4. On that note we also recall that in October about 50 NGOs have
called on WHO to disengage from IMPACT for it is an IP enforcement
initiative, lacks credibility and legitimacy. With the establishment
of a new intergovernmental mechanism relevant issues can be tackled in
a more credible and inclusive manner.

5. Inadequate financing of WHO’s Medicines Programme has resulted in
critical medicines work being abandoned including technical support to

We urge the DG to revitalize this programme to assist Members to
achieve their objectives on compromised medicines.

I thank you, Mr. Chairman

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