The Counterfeit Medicines Racket is growing at alarming proportions. The United Nations has risen to the occasion, driving a world wide initiative , by way of a task force team that would strive to put an end to the sale of counterfeit drugs. A three day meeting is underway in Rome, starting today, February 16th, where all the key players - Pharamaceutical companies, Regulatory bodies and groups which represent the consumers will bring to the table, out- of- the- box solutions, to end this menace of fake drugs.
The stark reality of Fake drugs, a silent killer , has its tentacles spreading world-wide and expected to sky rocket to the tune of $75 billion by 2010, making up almost 10% of the worldwide medicine trade according to the WHO, statistics. This will be a fatal blow to the sick, unwitting targets of a nefarious network.
Howard Zucker, assistant director general for Health Technology and Pharmaceuticals at the WHO, drove the grim reality home , when he said People don't die from carrying a fake handbag or wearing a fake T-shirt. They can die from taking a counterfeit medicine. International police action against the factories and distribution networks should be as uncompromising as that applied to the pursuit of narcotic smuggling.
The WHO's task force mandate will encompass legislation, law enforcement activities, trade, risk communications and innovative technology solutions. Additionally, WHO plans to extend the reach of the Rapid Alert System Communication Newtwork. Founded in 2005, The RAS , uses the web to follow the distribution activities of drug traders, and this information will be disseminated amonsgt the bearers of authority. The RAS will be spruced up to make such information available internationally, amongst all the stake holders.