[Ip-health] Discussions on fraudulent medicines raise concerns

Gopa Kumar kumargopakm at gmail.com
Thu Apr 25 00:47:20 PDT 2013

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Discussions on fraudulent medicines raise concernsP. T. Jyothi Datta
Mumbai, April 24:

The Government is concerned at the sweeping definition for fraudulent
medicines being discussed at an international meet on crime prevention and
criminal justice.

The reports and resolutions up for discussion at the meet confuse
counterfeit (which has to do with infringement of intellectual property)
with quality, safety and efficacy issues, say Government and healthcare
advocacy group representatives.

The meet is at present underway at the United Nations Office on Drugs and
Crime (UNDOC) headquarters,Vienna.

Some companies and countries continue to play this game of confusing
quality and safety issues with counterfeit, said Rajeev Kher, Additional
Secretary in the Commerce Ministry. The Government is apprehensive of such
moves, he added.

When it comes to medicines, such developments could affect the movement of
export consignments across markets, as seen in the past, when Indian
generic medicines were wrongly seized in Europe for being counterfeit, a
public-health advocacy group representative pointed out.

Last month, an over-arching agreement was signed between 29 multinational
drug companies and Interpol to combat fake drugs. This, too, had rung
alarm-bells in the domestic pharmaceutical industry, as there were concerns
that genuine generics could fall into the net, as the definition lacked

The latest discussions are worrying, as there is no common understanding
among UNODC member states on the definition of “fraudulent medicine,”
observed K. M. Gopakumar, legal advisor to the Third World Network.

This definition is problematic because it equates fraudulent medicines with
falsified medicine. The European Union Directive on Falsified Medicine
defines a falsified medicine as a medical product with a false
representation of its identity, source and history. Since identity and
source are not explained elaborately, it could be interpreted to include
infringements of trademarks or patents, he explained.

*jyothi.datta at thehindu.co.in* <jyothi.datta at thehindu.co.in>

Keywords: definition for fraudulent
, United Nations Office on Drugs and
, K. M. Gopakumar<http://www.thehindubusinessline.com/industry-and-economy/discussions-on-fraudulent-medicines-raise-concerns/article4651042.ece?css=print#>
, legal advisor to the Third World
, European Union Directive on Falsified
, infringement of intellectual

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