French group launches fake meds awareness campaign

IRACM campaignA six-month public awareness campaign has been launched in France and its overseas territories to highlight the dangers of counterfeit medicines.

Organised by the International Institute of Research Against Counterfeit Medicines (IRACM) the campaign will run between July 1 and December 31 and according to the group will "inform about a growing threat that is spreading worldwide."

In 2013 and 2014, 3.6 million fake medicines were seized in Le Havre, France. Trucks carrying medicines were stolen in Italy early this year, and Germany saw the introduction of fake medicines into its legal medicine distribution channel in April.

"These incidents show that the problem is getting closer and closer to France," says IRACM.

The campaign aims to preserve the health of patients by informing them of the risks incurred by counterfeit medicines, and alert them to dangerous behaviours, particularly concerning self-medication. It will also promote good practices for medicine consumption, especially on Internet and when travelling to foreign countries.

"In France, patients are protected by a very secure distribution channel for medicines. However Internet and travel can be risky," says the group.

The campaign consists of a booklet for patients, a website, a poster and a quiz. All the information can be found on the website

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