Opinion Formers' Conference on Counterfeit Medicines

Click here to read the full article as an Adobe Acrobat PDF.

Medicines have to pass through a rigorous series of clinical trials to prove their efficacy and safety. Once licensed, production is stringently regulated to ensure that drugs are manufactured to a uniformly high quality. These systems are essential if patients are to have confidence in the medicines they are prescribed. By bypassing these systems, the manufacturers of counterfeit medicines are not only illegally profiting from others' endeavours--they are also putting patients' lives at risk.

Counterfeits have been of concern ever since medicinal products were first used. Shortly after cinchona bark was introduced as a treatment for malaria in the 17th century, adulteration with other barks undermined public confidence. Similarly, when its active ingredient, quinine, was produced in the early 1800s, it too was counterfeited. The US government accused Britain of supplying fake quinine as an underhand ploy to sabotage the USA's war with Mexico.

In 1913, Carl Alsberg of the US Bureau of Chemistry launched "a stubborn campaign against fraudulent patent medicines". He said: "Fake drugs do incalculable harm to the misguided sick, who grasp at the false hopes they hold on to." Concern about trade in counterfeit medicines thus has a long history. In the modern era, it has evolved into an organised global criminal industry worth billions of dollars.

Roger Bate is the Legatum Fellow in Global Prosperity at AEI. Brian Ellliott is the executive director of the Medicines Transparency Alliance Secretariat. Ron Guido is the vice president of Global Brand Protection at Johnson and Johnson. Julian Harris is a research fellow at the International Policy Network. Hans Hogerzeil is the director of essential medicines and pharmaceutical policies at the World Health Organization. Paul Newton is the head of the Wellcome Trust-Mahosot Hospital-Oxford Tropical Medicine Research Collaboration in Laos. Aline Plancon is the INTERPOL-IMPACT project manager at INTERPOL, Andrew Jack is the pharmaceuticals correspondent to the Financial Times, Michael Boyd is the director general of the International Federation of Pharmaceutical Manufacturers and Associations, Geneva, and vice president of public affairs internations at the Schering-Plough Corporation. William Castell is the chairman of the Wellcome Trust. Pedro Velasco Martins is the principal administrator in charge of IPR Enforcement at the European Commission DG for Trade. Mark Walport is the director of the Wellcome Trust. Hashim Yusufu is the director of enforcement at the National Agency for Food and Drug Administration and Contol in Nigeria.

Click here to read the full article as an Adobe Acrobat PDF.

Also Visit
AEIdeas Blog The American Magazine
About the Author

 

Roger
Bate
  • Roger Bate is an economist who researches international health policy, with a particular focus on tropical disease and substandard and counterfeit medicines. He also writes on general development policy in Asia and Africa. He writes regularly for AEI's Health Policy Outlook.
  • Phone: 202-828-6029
    Email: rbate@aei.org
  • Assistant Info

    Name: Katherine Earle
    Phone: (202) 862-5872
    Email: katherine.earle@aei.org

What's new on AEI

image The Census Bureau and Obamacare: Dumb decision? Yes. Conspiracy? No.
image A 'three-state solution' for Middle East peace
image Give the CBO long-range tools
image The coming collapse of India's communists
AEI on Facebook
Events Calendar
  • 14
    MON
  • 15
    TUE
  • 16
    WED
  • 17
    THU
  • 18
    FRI
Wednesday, April 16, 2014 | 10:00 a.m. – 11:00 a.m.
Calling treason by its name: A conversation with Liam Fox

Join us at AEI as the Right Honorable Liam Fox sits down with Marc Thiessen to discuss and debate whether America’s intelligence agencies have infringed on the personal privacy of US citizens.

Thursday, April 17, 2014 | 4:00 p.m. – 5:00 p.m.
The curmudgeon's guide to getting ahead

How can young people succeed in workplaces dominated by curmudgeons who are judging their every move? At this AEI book event, bestselling author and social scientist Charles Murray will offer indispensable advice for navigating the workplace, getting ahead, and living a fulfilling life.

Event Registration is Closed
No events scheduled this day.
No events scheduled this day.
No events scheduled this day.
No events scheduled today.
No events scheduled this day.
No events scheduled this day.