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The International Federation of Pharmaceutical Manufacturers and Associations (IFPMA) and the Global Fund to Fight AIDS, Tuberculosis and Malaria has announced a broad-based partnership to help prevent patients from being harmed by fake medicines.
Fake medicines put patients and the general public at risk. Patients believe they are receiving genuine treatment, when instead they are getting potentially dangerous products that could cause further illness, disability or even death. Their use can also lead to the development of treatment resistance.
While people in low- and middle-income countries are often at greater risk than those in high-income countries, fake medicines are a global problem. Fake medicines are reported in virtually every region of the world. In high-income countries, incidence of fake medicines is less than 1% of market value according to the estimates of the countries concerned. Figures about sales of fake medicines rise to 10% globally, but in some areas of Asia, Africa and Latin America fake medicines may account for up to 30% of medicines in circulation. In Africa, one-third of all malaria medicines are probably fake. It is estimated that one in two medicines purchased on illegal Internet sites that hide their physical addresses is fake.
"We are at an historic moment. Effective treatments and technologies exist for HIV, TB and Malaria and our challenge at the Global Fund is to get those effective interventions to all patients that need them," said Mark Dybul, Executive Director of the Global Fund. "Fake medicines compromise our mission to save lives. We are delighted to join forces with IFPMA and invite other partners to join our efforts to get effective, safe, genuine treatments to the people who need them."
Embracing a holistic approach, the IFPMA-Global Fund partnership will focus on advocacy and awareness raising, strengthening the available data, and capacity building to ensure that authentic medicines reach those in need and to prevent patients from being harmed by fake medicines.
IFPMA represents research-based pharmaceutical companies and associations across the globe and brings technical expertise to help prevent further patients from being harmed by this public health threat.
"This is a crime against patients and poses a public health risk that can lead to treatment failure, antibiotic resistance, extended illness, disability and even death," said Eduardo Pisani, IFPMA Director General. "Stopping this threat requires heightened public awareness everywhere and coordinated actions - by key stakeholders such as governments, NGOs, international organizations, healthcare professionals, patients, and industry - to protect the integrity of medicines and the well-being of those who take them."
The partnership builds on the recently-launched global public service campaign, Fight the Fakes, to raise awareness of the dangers of fake medicines. Launched on 26 November 2013, Fight the Fakes (www.fightthefakes.org) comprises 10 partners representing healthcare professionals, disease-specific organizations, product development partnerships, foundations, international financing institutions, and the research-based pharmaceutical industry. The campaign will create a global movement of organizations and individuals that will speak up and help spread the word about this under-reported, yet growing threat to public health.
We believe that cooperation is vital to tackle this public health threat. Our goal is to reach out to all players involved in public health and that are already active in combating fake medicines or eager to join the fight against fake medicines to prevent harm to patients.
The International Federation of Pharmaceutical Manufacturers and Associations (IFPMA) & the Global Fund
Article adapted by Medical News Today from original press release. Click 'references' tab above for source.
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IFPMA and the Global Fund. "IFPMA and Global Fund collaborate to help protect patients from fake medicines." Medical News Today. MediLexicon, Intl., 5 Dec. 2013. Web.
18 Apr. 2014. <http://www.medicalnewstoday.com/releases/269708>
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