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Putting patients first: Framework Directive on counterfeit drugs approved today


16 Feb 2011


Health & Consumers

Failure is not an option: It’s time to move ahead with an EU-wide FTT

Speaking after the voting through of her report on fake medicines, EP rapporteur Marisa Matias (GUE/NGL, Portugal) said:


"Make no mistake, counterfeit medicines are a threat to patient safety including those suffering from cancer, heart disease, cholesterol and diabetes. Pharmaceutical counterfeiting is not just another type of counterfeiting, it is dramatically different; it is an organised crime that causes death and seriously jeopardises people's confidence in the entire health system."


Since 2005, seizures of counterfeit medicines have risen by 400% and this type of counterfeiting has been a very profitable market for organised criminal networks valued at €45 billion per year.


"It is people on lower incomes who are most vulnerable to this crime, since they are often forced to seek cheaper ways to buy medicines. We voted to bring the 'Trojan horse' of the internet into the law as it had not been included in the Commission's original proposal. With this piece of legislation adopted today we have declared war on fake drugs."


"We now have stronger sanctions against counterfeiters. Medicines will be traced from producer to patient and a rapid alert system for fake medicines, similar to the one for food, will be established. We have the same rules of safety for exports to third countries because if we demand safety for patients in Europe, we also have to demand it for all patients" Matias argued.


This legislation will now be directly transposed into the national laws of 27 Member States, thus contributing to safer access to medicines for 500 million people.

GUE/NGL Press contact
Gianfranco Battistini +32 475 64 66 28
David Lundy + 32 485 50 58 12
Gay Kavanagh + 32 473 84 23 20


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