Treaty Signed to Combat Fake Meds
Published: November 2, 2011 (Issue # 1681)
MOSCOW — Russia, France, Germany and several other mostly European countries on Friday signed the first-ever international treaty to combat the growing multibillion-dollar counterfeit drug industry.
The Council of Europe-sponsored Medicrime Convention obliges signatory states to criminalize a broad range of activities that make possible the sale of fake medicines that harm patients and deprive legal producers of revenues.
Health and Social Development Minister Tatyana Golikova, who signed the treaty on behalf of Russia, said the government would beef up penalties for the crimes to comply with the new requirements, Interfax reported.
The convention introduces minimum standards for the criminal law of the signatory countries, said Council of Europe media officer Estelle Steiner.
“The global trend has been that these crimes were often not considered as serious enough to merit criminal law measures,” she said. “In some countries, these activities have already been criminalized. In others, the governments will have to introduce new measures.”
The treaty makes activities such as manufacturing, trafficking, supplying or offering to supply counterfeit medical products a criminal offense.