Branded and generic drug firms join forces against fakes

EU medicineThe European Federation of Pharmaceutical Industries and Associations and the European Generic medicines Association have come together in a united front against medicines counterfeiting.

The EGA has now joined the European Stakeholders Model (ESM), a partnership of organisations involved in the pharmaceutical supply chain. The EGA is the European group for life science firms that specialise in generic and biosimilar drug production.

The ESM partners' aim is to develop a safe, cost-effective and partnership-based pan-European medicines verification system to combat falsified medicines and ensure patient safety.

Adrian van den Hoven, the director general of the EGA, says: "The EGA is proud to join forces with EFPIA [the European lobby group for R&D pharma companies], GIRP [the umbrella organisation of pharma full-line wholesalers in Europe], EAEPC [which represents Europe's licensed parallel distribution industry] and PGEU [the European community pharmacists group] in the ESM. This is an important step in the fight against counterfeit medicines."

"Now it's time for us to work with the support of EU and national authorities to get the system up and running effectively while maintaining access to safe medicines for European patients."

Richard Bergström, director general EFPIA, adds: "I am pleased to welcome the European Generic medicines Association to ESM. By joining together, we can best protect patients and their security. This is a solution that will have impact not only in Europe but also at global level - because counterfeiting is a global problem."

"I believe we can consider this as a milestone in progressing the work of the ESM, as well as in supporting the pharmaceutical industry's united efforts to combat counterfeiting at large."

Recent estimates by the World Health Organization (WHO) suggest that around 1 per cent of medicines sold in the developed world are counterfeit and in some parts of Africa, Asia and Latin America, more than 30 per cent of the medicines on sale are fakes.

The ESM offers a cost-effective technological solution using 2D barcoding to verify the authenticity of medicinal products, combating the entry of falsified medicines in the EU supply chain and ensuring patient safety across Europe.

EFPIA claims the pan-European medicines verification system will help put an end to the resale of stolen and counterfeit drugs in the legitimate supply chain.

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