FIP activities against counterfeit medicines
FIP Statement on counterfeit medicines
In 1999, FIP adopted a statement on counterfeit medicines during the Council meeting at the FIP Congress in Barcelona. Because of the growing and changing aspect of this major public health care issue, FIP has updated its Policy statement on counterfeit medicines in 2003 during its Council meeting at the FIP Congress in Sydney. You can download this statement on our website here. This statement is a strong political message of the pharmacists’ profession to support the fight against counterfeit medicines to protect the safety of their patients.
Collaboration with other international organisations
1. World Health Professions Alliance
FIP is one of the founding members of the World Health Professions Alliance (WHPA) which gathers organisations representing medical doctors, pharmacists, nurses and dentists.
In 2008, the WHPA developed a communication toolkit aiming at raising awareness on counterfeit medicines among health professionals and providing some tools and strategies for detecting counterfeit medicines and for safely informing colleagues and patients. This toolkit was renewed in 2010 with the motto "Be Aware, Take Action".
This toolkit includes:
- General Information Fact Sheets for health professionals, patients and public health advocates on counterfeit medical products.
- Campaign postcards
- Sample Reporting Form for health professionals
- Be Aware, Take Action poster
- A Medicines Checklist poster for waiting rooms and pharmacies
- The WHPA Joint Statement of Counterfeiting of Medical Products
- Frequently Asked Questions (FAQ) sheet.
This toolkit can be downloaded (and more documents) can be downloaded at: http://www.whpa.org/counterfeit_campaign_materials.htm
2. Council of Europe
In 2003 the Council of Europe established an Ad-hoc group on counterfeit medicines and since 2004, FIP has been providing support and working within this group to fight counterfeit medicines. In 2008, this Ad-hoc group became the Committee of Experts on Minimising public health risks posed by counterfeiting medical products and related crimes (CD-P-PH/CMED). FIP participation in this Committee was confirmed.
This Committee of Experts meets at least twice every year in Strasbourg.
For further information, please see http://www.edqm.eu/en/CD-P-CMED-Committee-of-Experts-on-minimising-the-public-health-risks-posed-by-counterfeiting-of-medical-products-and-related-crimes-CD-P-PHCMED-1330.html
FIP contributed to the Council of Europe work through:
- being one of the two authors of the Model approach “Counterfeit medicines in Europe: Risk communication strategies for drug regulatory authorities” (2008).
- contributing to the publications of the Council of Europe such as:
- Counterfeit medicines - Facts and case studies. D. Di Giorgi Ed. Strasbourg: EDQM, 2009.
- Counterfeit medicines - Facts and practical advice. D. Di Giorgi Ed. Strasbourg: EDQM, 2010. (and its Italian version: Farmaci Contraffatti - Il Fenomeno e la attività di contrasto)
- Counterfeit medical products and similar crimes - Risk communication. D. Di Giorgi Ed. Strasbourg: EDQM, 2011.
In 2006, the World Health Organization (WHO) established an international medical products anti-counterfeiting taskforce (IMPACT), which is a voluntary grouping of governments, organisations, institutions, agencies and associations from developing and developed countries aimed at sharing expertise, identifying problems, seeking solutions, coordinating activities and working towards the common goal of fighting counterfeit medical products. IMPACT aims at ensuring appropriate regional representation, including in particular from developing countries.
Since the inception of IMPACT, FIP, representing the World Health Professions Alliance (WHPA) has been leading the IMPACT Working Group on Communications. A series of advocacy activities, including the development of materials, such as the WHPA toolkit on counterfeit medicines for health professionals and patients have been made.
For further information, please see http://www.who.int/impact/en/index.html
Creating specific and practical tools for pharmacists
1.Tool for visual inspection
This document has been produced by the International Council of Nurses in partnership with the United States Pharmacopoeia (USP) and modified by the Military and Emergency Pharmacists Section of FIP. The tool is designed to help health professionals carry out a visual inspection of medicines for signs of counterfeiting such as improper packaging, labeling or description of dosage. All suspicious products with incorrect labels, missing information about the strength, dosage, or expiration date should be reported to the appropriate national authority or to the WHO or FIP.
Download English version here
Download Spanish version here
Download French version here
Download German version here
Download Dutch version here
2.Guide for pharmacists
FIP has developed a framework to facilitate the creation of a guide for pharmacists on counterfeit medicines. This document is available to FIP member organisations in English, French and Spanish and has been validated by the IMPACT working group on Communications.
This document suggests organizations and key elements to be included in a national guide for pharmacists. It also provides member organizations with some texts and indicates which part of the text should be updated in accordance to national situation.
The latest adaption of the guide was done by the Macedonian Chamber of Pharmacists.
Raising awareness and educating pharmacists and their leaders.
FIP has published several articles targeting pharmacists in their fight against counterfeit medicines.
You will find below a copy of some of these articles, reprinted with permission from Pharma Publishing and Media Europe:
- Xuanhao Chan, Ton Hoek, Valerio Reggi. Counterfeit medicines – it will never happen to me. Eur J Hosp Pharm Prac. 2008;14(2):55-57.
- Luc Besançon. The role of hospital pharmacists in counterfeit medicines. Eur J Hosp Pharm Prac. 2008;14(2):65-66.
- Xuanhao Chan and Luc Besançon. Safe internet buying of medicines: why and how pharmacists should help. Eur J Hosp Pharm Prac. 2008;14(3):61-63.
Copyright (C) 2008 Pharma Publishing & Media Europe. All rights reserved.
FIP and IFPMA launched in 2012 a publication "The Threat of False Friends" aiming at raising awareness of the dangers of counterfeit, or falsified, medicines, especially those medicines purchased, sold and acquired via Internet sales.
Click here to download the full brochure
Moreover, during its previous congresses, FIP organised many conferences on counterfeit medicines to sensitise pharmacists and pharmacy leaders on the increasing risks and dangers for patients. You can access to these presentations on our Abstracts and Presentations webpages: http://www.fip.org/abstracts