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 Getting it right: US national security policy and al Qaeda since 2011
image Net neutrality rundown: What the NPRM means for you
image The Schuette decision
image Snatching failure from victory in Afghanistan
AEI on Facebook
Events Calendar
  • 21
    MON
  • 22
    TUE
  • 23
    WED
  • 24
    THU
  • 25
    FRI
Wednesday, April 23, 2014 | 12:00 p.m. – 1:30 p.m.
Graduation day: How dads’ involvement impacts higher education success

Join a diverse group of panelists — including sociologists, education experts, and students — for a discussion of how public policy and culture can help families lay a firmer foundation for their children’s educational success, and of how the effects of paternal involvement vary by socioeconomic background.

Event Registration is Closed
Thursday, April 24, 2014 | 12:00 p.m. – 1:30 p.m.
Getting it right: A better strategy to defeat al Qaeda

This event will coincide with the release of a new report by AEI’s Mary Habeck, which analyzes why current national security policy is failing to stop the advancement of al Qaeda and its affiliates and what the US can do to develop a successful strategy to defeat this enemy.

Event Registration is Closed
Friday, April 25, 2014 | 9:15 a.m. – 1:15 p.m.
Obamacare’s rocky start and uncertain future

During this event, experts with many different views on the ACA will offer their predictions for the future.   

No events scheduled this day.
No events scheduled this day.
No events scheduled this day.
No events scheduled this day.
No events scheduled this day.