International Pharmaceutical Federation

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Meeting: 
Seventy-second World Health Assembly (A72/1)
Agenda Item: 
12.2 Member State mechanism on substandard and falsified medical products
Statement: 

Honourable Chair, Distinguished delegates,

Thank you for the opportunity to speak on behalf of the International Pharmaceutical Federation (FIP), the global organisation representing over four million pharmacists worldwide. This statement is supported by Fight the Fakes, a campaign contributed to by over 35 organisations committed to preventing patient exposure to substandard and falsified (SF) medicines worldwide.

SF medical products obstruct access to quality and safe medicines and undermine the way to UHC. Improving quality should be a core component of UHC initiatives, and ensuring quality medicines should be seen as a core piece in providing quality care.

Primary health care professionals, including pharmacists, are at the forefront of the fight against fake medicines. They report the most serious incidents of SF medicines. However, they report the fewest number of cases and often at a late stage rather than when suspicions first arise. To address a clear need for building pharmacists’ capacity to deal with SF medicines, FIP is collaborating with the WHO on training modules on SF medical products to be embedded in pharmacy school curricula. We are currently working with universities and pharmacists’ organisations in Africa where the need is acute.

Robust regulatory oversight is key in combating SF medicines. We urge Member States to put in place regulatory frameworks that effectively prevent these medicines from reaching and harming patients, including regulation of online sales of medical products.

FIP and other partners of Fight the Fakes are raising awareness on the dangers of SF medicines and empowering people to act on this issue. We welcome the possibility of further collaborating with WHO to drive forward the endeavours of its Member State Mechanism because we believe that a holistic approach, encompassing collaboration between all stakeholders, is essential in our fight against SF medicines.

Thank you for your attention.