The upcoming Falsified Medicines Directive will only really succeed in increasing patient safety if all supply chain stakeholders grasp the opportunities that the legislation creates. The EAASM was excellently placed to bring together all of the major stakeholders and collate their views, in an article published by Pharma Times, which you can read here.
The DoDs report is one of two reports the EAASM is publishing simultaneously. It highlights the abject standards in three member states where online pharmacy is supposedly not allowed (but seems rife) and the barely-better standards where the activity is legal. As an Alliance dedicated to patient safety, it would rather that it had not been necessary to undertake either of these projects, but the harsh reality is that much of Europe (and globally) the internet remains the pharmaceutical wildwest. The report, which you can read here, is a real eye opener.
This sister publication complements the DoD report and shows just how widespread counterfeit medicines are online, how easy it is to access them and how much money criminals can generate. The results are astounding with the fake website attracting in excess of 182,000 unique visitors. Of these over 12,000 decided to click through - having been exposed to a message about the dangers of buying medicines online - se are questions that are often asked and that often go unanswered. Now, the EAASM, in its most ambitious project to date, uncovers the reality. Counterfeiting the Counterfeiter is a remarkable story and you can read it here.
The European Alliance for Access to Safe Medicines (EAASM) submitted a report to European Parliament, calling for enhanced legislation to improve the protection of Europe’s patients against the intensifying risks and dangers of counterfeit medicines.
Packaging Patient Protection, published by the EAASM in partnership with stakeholders in patient associations, non-governmental organisations and the pharmaceutical industry, is a clear set of recommendations for new laws to combat fake, counterfeit and substandard medicines.
The document delivers seven key recommendations for Europe’s policy-makers, including:
There has been an explosion in the number of counterfeit medicines reaching patients in recent years – one reason for this is the increase in illegal online pharmacies.
Scope of this report
Untrained, unsuspecting consumers are vulnerable to the potentially lethal outcomes of buying medicines online. The Counterfeiting Superhighway reveals the scope and repercussions of this dangerous practice through extensive research and examination of over 100 online pharmacies and over 30 commonly purchased prescription-only medicines. These include medicines indicated to treat serious conditions such as cardiovascular and respiratory disease, neurological disorders, and mental health conditions).
Key findings from this report
62% of medicines purchased online are fake or substandard
95.6% of online pharmacies researched are operating illegally.
94% of websites do not have a named, verifiable pharmacist.
Over 90% of websites supply prescription-only medicines without a prescription.
The report concludes by providing recommendations
Based on the research findings and calls all stakeholders including search engines, credit card companies, shipping companies, patient groups and regulators, to take action and halt this dangerous trend.
To read the full report, including the extensive research results and recommendations, download it here.
The European pharmaceutical market could be heading towards a public health disaster with respect to distribution chain regulation and supply chain security.
Scope of this report
The compelling report by Dr Jonathan Harper distils and analyses available studies, and examines the economic issues around parallel pharmaceutical trade (PPT). The report looks at how the right of every patient to expect safe medicines can best be respected.
Key reasons to read this report
To date, the main academic and policy arguments have focused on the economic issues of PPT. Dr Harper’s report provides analysis of the topic in a broader context, which involves a number of factors in addition to pure health economics.