International Pharmaceutical Students' 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: 

The International Pharmaceutical Students’ Federation (IPSF) represents over 350,000 pharmacy students and recent graduates in 90 countries worldwide.

Substandard and falsified medications are threats to patients’ health which may result in death, disability or prolonged illness. Their implications in healthcare include contributing to antimicrobial resistance and creating public mistrust in healthcare which undermines the efforts of public health improvement. By acknowledging the difference between substandard and falsified medicines, a coordinated response may be used to tackle these respective threats.

Through monitoring and reporting adverse reactions, pharmacists play a vital role in combating falsified medicines. However, there is a need for increased vigilance from Member States, as well as the WHO. Regulatory authorities must work together to ensure the security of the entire supply chain. Only through collaboration is it possible to prevent substandard and falsified products from entering health systems.

IPSF applauds the efforts of both public and private sectors in establishing regulatory frameworks, raising awareness, and developing new technologies to tackle this issue. Previously this year, IPSF collaborated with the Fight the Fakes campaign partners by hosting four webinars on this topic which reached more than 400 individuals across the globe.

In the era of technology, IPSF believes there is a need to develop effective, online surveillance and monitoring mechanisms for the sales, distribution, and supply of substandard and falsified medicines. Additionally, we urge Member States to strengthen their regulatory frameworks to minimize the entry of falsified products in the market. IPSF stands ready for further collaboration with the WHO and other stakeholders to protect health systems and the public from the deleterious effects of substandard and falsified medical products.