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Falsified medicines in the EU: putting an end to the silent epidemic. Françoise Grossetête MEP


17 Feb 2011


Health & Consumers

"The adoption of the draft Directive on the fight against falsified medicines is a first step towards guaranteeing the origin and quality of medicines available in the European Union", said Françoise Grossetête MEP, the EPP Group's Rapporteur on the dossier, following the adoption of the Report by an overwhelming majority (569 in favour, 12 against and 7 abstentions) today in the plenary session of the European Parliament.

"Too many falsified medicines get into our supply chains as 'silent killers'. At the end of 2009, the EU carried out custom controls and within only two months, 34 million falsified pills were confiscated!", said the MEP.

"I wish to send a message to our citizens who might be tempted to buy medicines on the Internet: they have more than one chance out of two of finding falsified medicines. Many 'merchants of death' are hiding behind criminal networks.

Fake Viagra, fake pain killers or fake anti-cancer medicines, counterfeits containing none, or very little real medicine, do not cure illnesses. But too often, when illegal medication contains aluminium or arsenic, the consequences are fatal. This is why the text foresees the enforcement of European inspections of producers of active substances."

"Producing medicine obliges the companies and all actors involved in the supply chain to adhere to a strict regime. This requires identifying each actor's responsibility from the producers, the wholesalers, parallel importers, brokers to the distributors... This regime also forces us to make sure that the traceability of each box of prescribed medicines is guaranteed and furthermore, that they have security systems containing an electronic number that will guarantee the authenticity and the individual identification of each package. Finally, it requires limiting the number of repackaging stages of boxes that go through the hands of parallel importers.

Pharmacists have an important role to play as they are an essential link in the pharmaceutical chain. We must make sure that they themselves buy quality medicines."

(Translation from the original French)

For further information:
Françoise GROSSETÊTE MEP, Tel: +33-3-88177952
Marion Jeanne, EPP Group Press & Communications Service, Tel: +32-479-840293
Françoise Grossetête's Internet Site
UMP, New Centre and the Modern Left MEPs Website

Notes to Editors:
The EPP Group is by far the largest political group in the European Parliament with 265 Members.