EUROPEAN DIRECTORATE FOR THE QUALITY OF MEDICINES & HEALTHCARE (EDQM)
Department of Biological Standardisation,
European Network of Official Medicines Control Laboratories & HealthCare (DBO)
COMMITTEE OF EXPERTS ON MINIMISING PUBLIC HEALTH RISKS POSED BY
COUNTERFEITING OF MEDICAL PRODUCTS AND RELATED CRIMES (CD-P-PH/CMED)
3rd General MEETING WHO IMPACT
Hammamet, Tunisia, 3-5 December 2008
MODEL APPROACH "COUNTERFEIT MEDICINES IN EUROPE: RISK
COMMUNICATION STRATEGIES FOR DRUG REGULATORY
25 November 2008
Note: At its 2nd meeting on 28 and 29 October 2008, the Council of Europe EDQM Committee of Experts on minimising public health risks posed by counterfeiting of medicines and related crimes endorsed inviting the WHO IMPACT Working party "Communication" to submit the enclosed document comprising a model approach "Counterfeit medicines in Europe: risk communication strategies for Drug Regulatory Authorities" for a possible endorsement at the 3rd General Meeting of WHO IMPACT, Hammamet, Tunisia, on 3-5 December 2008.
The Committee of Experts on minimising public health risks posed by counterfeiting of medicines and related crimes, co-ordinated by the Council of Europe‘s European Directorate for the Quality of Medicines & HealthCare (EDQM)1, was entrusted with a comprehensive programme of activities dealing with training programmes, model approaches, management of specific knowledge, and networking through Single Points of Contact (SPOCs)2. After the transfer of the pharmaceutical activities to the EDQM, the Committee of Experts succeeds the former Ad hoc Group on Counterfeit Medicines (Council of Europe Partial Agreement in the Social and Public Health Field). At its 2nd meeting on 28 and 29 October 2008, the Committee of Experts on minimising public health risks posed by counterfeiting of medicines and related crimes inter alia approved the model approach dealing with ―Counterfeit medicines in Europe: risk
communication strategies for Drug Regulatory Authorities‖,
in the frame of the membership of the Council of Europe at the WHO IMPACT General
Meetings, invited the WHO IMPACT working party ―Communication‖ to submit the enclosed document on ―Counterfeit medicines in Europe: risk communication strategies for Drug Regulatory Authorities‖ for possible endorsement at the 3rd General Meeting of WHO IMPACT, Hammamet, Tunisia, on 3-5 December 2008.
The mission of the European Directorate for the Quality of Medicines & HealthCare (EDQM) is to
contribute to the basic human right of access to good quality medicines and healthcare, and to
promote and protect human and animal health. It contributes effectively to combating the
counterfeiting of medicines and related crimes involving threats to public health by:
Establishing and providing official standards which apply to the manufacture and quality control
of medicines in all the signatory states of the Convention for the elaboration of a European Pharmacopoeia and beyond, the European Pharmacopoeia, covering 2000 medicinal substances,
Ensuring the application of these official standards to substances used for the production of
Co-ordinating a network of approximately 100 Official Medicines Control Laboratories in 35
countries to collaborate and share expertise between Member States and effectively use limited resources,
Establishing ethical and quality standards for the collection, storage and use of blood
components relevant to blood transfusion and for organ transplantation, including tissues and cells,
Collaborating with national and international organisations in efforts to eliminate illegal and
counterfeit medicinal and medical products,
Providing policies and model approaches for the safe use of medicines in Europe, including
guidelines on pharmaceutical care.
2 See Appendix 
Ensuring healthcare of adequate quality is a prime task of all governments. The obligation to do
this is usually part of the national constitution or dependent specific legislation. It is therefore an
obligation for governments to maintain a safe system of healthcare. The Drug Regulatory
Authorities (DRA) are usually in charge of the licensing of medicines and inspection of the
production sites and distribution channels. Inspection procedures may need to be adjusted to take
into account the possibility that counterfeit medicines may enter the regular distribution chain.
Prevention is an important element in all healthcare systems. Prevention is always better than
cure. Pro-active information, e.g. campaigns, to influence the behaviour of people are particularly
useful in healthcare and this holds also true in the prevention of counterfeit medicines. Awareness
among several stakeholders on counterfeit medicines should be raised in general even if no
counterfeit medicines have been discovered on the legal pharmaceutical market.
In case of a suspected or verified counterfeit medicine, communication within the authorities and
with other stakeholders has to be effective in order to prevent health damage.
This document contains a model approach for a pro-active information strategy on counterfeit
medicines (item 2.) and a reactive communication strategy about incidences of counterfeit
medicines (item 3.).
For general information, please refer to References a-b.
The Committee of Experts on minimising public health risks posed by counterfeiting of medical
products and related crimes, co-ordinated by the Council of Europe European Directorate on the
Quality of Medicines & HealthCare (EDQM) developed this model approach intended to facilitate
the writing and implementation of a procedure at national level by outlining basic principles and
This work takes account of the conclusions of the Seminar Counteract the Counterfeiters! Limiting
the risks of counterfeit medicines to public health in Europe by adequate measures and
mechanisms, organised by the former Council of Europe Ad hoc Group on Counterfeit Medicines,
in Strasbourg, France, on 21-23 September 20053, regarding the seminar programme item
« Public health »:
Inter alia, the seminar participants called for public health protection through
- raising awareness through positive communication avoiding scaring people,
- discouraging the public from purchasing medicines via illegal distribution channels,
- training of healthcare professionals to communicate the counterfeit medicines risk to patients,
- considering counterfeit and substandard medicines in the systems which are in place to survey
medicines‘ safety on the market,
- enabling the traceability of a medicine to patient level in case of a medicine recall. On the basis of the conclusions of the above seminar, a programme of activities was set up aiming at the development and implementation of practical tools in the field of counterfeit medicines and related crimes in the frame of the programme of activities of the Council of Europe and its EDQM. Among the activities proposed was the development of the present pro-active information strategy on counterfeit medicines and of a reactive communication strategy on incidences of counterfeit medicines. The pro-active information (‗awareness raising‘) and the reactive communication protocol on new cases of suspected or verified counterfeit medicines are closely related in that they are both meant
to give information on counterfeit medicines and the associated health risks. The differences
between both approaches are as follows: the communication protocol defining when, how and who
to inform of new cases of suspect or verified counterfeit medicines is intended to be used when a
counterfeit medicine has actually been detected on the market as follow-up and reaction to the
incidence. The pro-active information aims at making the general public, patients, professionals
and partners in the pharmaceutical distribution chain aware of the issue of counterfeit medicines in
a proactive way, contributing to the prevention of harm and of new cases in the long run.
This model approach deals with counterfeit medical products4. However, other medical products
such as medical devices, tissues and blood products are equally at risk of being counterfeit. The
tools in this model approach can also be used for the prevention of risks posed by other medical
products, although minor adjustments may be necessary to allow for different legal environments.
In most cases the Drug Regulatory Authority (DRA) is part of, or linked to the Ministry of Health
(MoH). The present model approach applies also to situations where the DRA shares
communication activities with or sources them out to the MoH.
2. Pro-active information strategy on counterfeit medicines
There are several stakeholders in the public and private sectors and the general public sharing
concern of medication safety that have to be aware of the possibility of counterfeit medicines
appearing on the market. These stakeholders comprise the general public, patients and/or patient
organisations, healthcare professionals such as pharmacists, doctors and nurses, including
students of these professions, the medicines‘ production and distribution chain, such as
manufacturers and wholesalers, and the media, such as radio, television, the Internet and news
papers. The DRA are key stakeholders. The DRA is as well sender of information for internal and
external use as recipient of communication5.
2.2 Key messages
The DRA should therefore, as a first step, take the initiative to launch an information campaign
aimed at the general public on the ways and means of preventing damage to health caused by
counterfeit medicines. Alternatively, the DRA could participate in initiatives taken by other
stakeholders resulting in joint information campaigns. The goal of these campaigns should be to
prevent the public from buying medicines outside the regular distribution channels and to spot
cases of counterfeit medicines as soon as possible. The key messages of the information
campaign should be:
- Buy medicines from your pharmacy only (where legally permitted, this includes regulated internet
- Report ineffective medicines and quality problems to your pharmacist.
Examples of such initiatives can be found in Appento . Appendices  to  focus
on counterfeit medicines over the Internet.
Other stakeholders than the above mentioned pharmacists should be informed to make sure that
they are aware of the message to the public and are prepared to answer questions that may come
up. Also, the role of these stakeholders in facilitating the detection of counterfeit medicines should
be highlighted6. Examples can be found in Appendices ,  and .
4 For the purpose of this document, the term medicines is used as a synonym for medical products.
5 The DRA is encouraged to designate a dedicated reporting point for the general public to report about suspect medicines and to publish information about the reporting point.
6 Reporting of adverse effects and quality defects according to national and supranational legislation are not within the scope and focus of this document. Health professionals and stakeholders of the manufacturing and distribution chain are called to adhere reporting requirements as applicable.
Finally, the DRA should evaluate the effect of the information campaign and re-launch the
campaign, reinforcing the conveyed messages, when public awareness comes below a predefined
3. Reactive communication strategy on incidences of counterfeit medicines
DRAs and other involved services of the MoH may have to face a situation where a suspected or
verified counterfeit medicine is found in the pharmaceutical distribution chain.
In order to improve the efficiency of communication in this case, it is highly recommended to DRAs
to establish a procedure for communication. Some DRAs have already prepared such a procedure.
The below stakeholders (A-E) and processes related to the information flow are outlined in Chart,
Several stakeholders should be targeted in this procedure:
1. the DRAs themselves and other MoH-related services (A). This would encompass the
different services within the DRAs, such as the Single Point of Contact (SPOC), (see
Appendix , the medicines enforcement officers, the Official Medicines Control
Laboratory (OMCL) and the press and communication officers;
2. the general public including the patients (B);
3. the media (C) at large: such as general public press (e.g. newspaper, radio, television and
new information technologies media like Internet magazines), and professional press;
4. healthcare professionals (D) (e.g. pharmacists, physicians, nurses). Apart from individual
healthcare professionals, this category also encompasses their respective representative bodies;
5. the distribution chain (E) from the manufacturer to the dispensing point (e.g. community
pharmacies, hospitals), including full-line and other wholesalers, as well as other retail shops in case of an ―Over The Counter‖ (OTC) medicine.
It should be noted that pharmacists should be considered under both healthcare professionals (D)
and stakeholders of the distribution chain (E).
Based on this definition of stakeholders, several actions should be expected from these partners. A
specific strategy customised for the targeted stakeholders should be drawn up and implemented.
Customised communication for the different stakeholders should be based on a basic
communication from which key message(s) should be extracted and adapted to the needs for
information of the respective stakeholder.
3.2 Information flow
Information flow is described in the following Chart:
DRA and related MoH services
General Public incl.
An example of a press release can be found in Appendix . Moreover, when the case of a
counterfeit medicine has been sentenced, it is of interest to publish the court‘s decision in order to
deter people from counterfeiting medicines. (See Appendix ).
3.3 Responsibilities of stakeholders
When receiving information stakeholders are expected to react appropriately. In the table below
the follow-up actions are listed.
Actions expected of stakeholders as regards the communication
A DRAs and other MoH related
Organise a taskforce on the case including all relevant
experts Organise information flow (two-way): within the DRAs at national level at international level with other partners Take decisions and communicate them
B General public and patients
Act responsibly, i.e. follow the advice of healthcare professionals
Cooperate and relay message
D Healthcare professionals
Provide care (i.e. in case of adverse effect of the counterfeit medicine) and relay information to the patients (and refer them to reliable sources of information)
E Manufacturers and distributors
Recall the product and replace them if needed. Part of the recall process is the isolation of products which are suspected of being counterfeit, as well as communication on the recalls.
a) IMPACT: http://www.who.int/impact
b) FIP website on counterfeit medicines: http://www.fip.org/combatcounterfeitmedicines
France, Afssaps/Ordre national des pharmaciens: leaflet ―Médicament et contrefaçon‖
Italy, Ministry of Health: ―Farmaci veri, farmaci falsi‖, Bif XIV, N 3 2007
Portugal, Infarmed website: ―Contrafaccão e venda de medicamentos pela Internet‖
Switzerland, ―SwissMedic warnt vor gefälschten Arzneimittel‖
Netherlands, IGZ websit
Singapore, Health Sciences Authority: Consumer guide to protection against counterfeit and illegal medicines.
Switzerland, Swissmedic: Stop Piracy Day, 25 October 2008.
Health Information Sources
 Council of Europe model campaign
"Avoid risk for your health"
Licensed physician and pharmacist – reliable sources Health
Authority – easy to check source, reliable information
Official Health institutions– easy to check source, most likely
If you need Information
The best way to get benefit and to protect
Medical libraries, academic sources – information mostly in
from risky offers is to learn how to verify and
assess health information on the Internet.
The following topics can help you but this is
Health professionals' organisations – check within your
not an easy job even for experienced
country first, may use scientific language
Consumer and Patient Support Associations – likely to use
Health professionals are best placed to help
consumer friendly language
you decide and can also provide you with
Non-profit institutions – easily checkable if renowned
information sources that match your needs.
Commercial companies – likely to give information only
about their own products
Individually posted information, other sources – difficult to
check, could be unreliable
< Check List > What you should find on the website
1. Do you know who is the author?
3. Does it satisfy your needs?
Identify the name and the professional qualification of
Find out who the information is aimed at (health
the author or the organisation
professionals, commercial agents, general
Check the existence of contact information (complete
Ask yourself if it replies to your questions
2. Does it give reliable, complete and up-to-date
4. Does the site refer to a Code of Conduct or
display a mark or symbol of quality?
Be aware that balanced information must provide both risks
Mention national codes of conduct, if available
Look for recent updates or review dates
Apply the checklist to your favourite health websites.
See how they score.
Check references to original sources
No links to unreliable sites
Cross-check the information with other sources and with your
physician or pharmacist
Evaluating health information may be time-consuming but it is easy to be alert:
Ask the right questions
Use common sense
Never give any personal data unless you are sure the site complies with security and privacy rules
Discuss what you find with your doctor or pharmacist
Learn about Quality Information Tools
< Codes and Symbols >
Check with health authorities in your country about the
< Suspicious signs >
existence of quality tools such as a seal, accreditation
system or other local initiatives.
Claims of fast, guaranteed or sensational results
Medical products and the Internet – a guide to finding
Miraculous cure or secret formulas
Claims of no risks or absence of information on side
Experts or personal testimonials
Health On the Net Foundation <www.hon.ch>
Claims of efficacy for a wide range of conditions or for
Internet HealthCare Coalition <www.ihc.net>
Sites without complete address only e-mail indicated
Aggressive commercial behaviour, e.g. you cannot leave
Quality Criteria for Health Related Websites, European
Websites offering medicines and/or medical services
Check with your health authorities, if either prescription or selling through the Internet are allowed.
Verify, if the selling point is licensed to provide or sell those products and services (check with Health Authorities)
Make sure, you are dealing with licensed Health professionals.
SEEK SAFE MEDICINAL PRODUCTS!
F OR YOUR HEALTH!
Illegal sale se
Buy only medicinal products approved by a
Be aware: Lack of quality, efficacy and safety (Risks of counte rfe
t drugs, illicit drugs, expired drugs, overdosed or under dosed
.coe.int/t/e/social_cohesion/soc-sp/Health Information Sources.tif
drugs non-approved medicines); waste of money (not
reimbursable, not returnable or claimable if defective, restraint
Quality medicines are dispensed by licensed
persons and licensed sale channels, which are
controlled by a responsible authority
If you need a prescription or any medical advice
Be aware: Incorrect diagnosis, insufficient, misleading or
be sure to contact a licensed health professional
wrong counseling, Medicines inappropriate and harmful for
your condition, inadequate treatment.
Be aware: Lack of information, biased information, wrong
information, products with the same name may be different
in different countries
In some countries medicines may only be sold in licensed pharmacies and they must have the proper marketing authorization.
National medicines regulatory authority or the European Medicines Evaluation Agency (EMEA) are responsible for these issues.
In order to practice, physicians and pharmacists must be registered in their respective professional societies.
Committee of Experts on Pharmaceutical http://www.emea.eu.int/exlinks/exlinks.htm
Questions - Council of Europe
F - 67075 Strasbourg Cedex
Other European regulatory bodies:
Check the World Health Organisation user guide available at:
Medicines & Internet
The major problems in the field of Medicines and the Internet are the overflow of
information and an abundance of risky offers.
To help you with the right choice:
The Council of Europe and [to insert partner] gives you the following practical tool.
Check the topics inside.
Internet can be helpful but does not replace the consultation with a health
Don't forget to discuss and share the information obtained from the Internet
with your doctor or pharmacist.
European Commission. Commission warns about fake drugs on the internet. Press release 23
March 2006. Available at: http://europa.eu/rapid/pressReleasesAction.do?reference=IP/06/375&format=HTML&aged=1. Latest access on November 6th 2008.
Brussels, 27 March 2006
Commission warns about fake drugs on the internet
The European Commission has issued a warning that fakes of the medicine rimonabant are
currently being sold via several websites. Rimonabant has been developed to treat obesity
and related risk factors and smoking cessation7. The medicine is still under evaluation by
the European Medicines Agency (EMEA). The product will only receive marketing
authorisation by the European Commission once its quality, safety and efficacy have been
satisfactorily established by the EMEA scientific committee, and this approval is still
pending. Once approved, the company intends to market rimonabant under the name
AcompliaTM. Patients who buy unlicensed and counterfeit or illicit copies of rimonabant may
be putting their health at risk. This latest example underlines European Commission
concern that criminals are taking advantage of the anonymity of the internet to sell fake,
adulterated and unlicensed medicines to an unsuspecting public, putting lives at risk as
well as undermining the pharmaceutical industry.
Commission Vice-President Günter Verheugen responsible for enterprise and industry products said: "I am alarmed at the ever increasing number of counterfeit medicines sold via the internet. This represents a real danger to the health of patients. The Commission is working with European and international partners to do everything possible to ensure legal methods for marketing of medicines are respected and enforced."
Counterfeiters try to bypass the foreseen regulatory pathways of licensing and supervision by competent authorities. According to a recent survey by the Member States, 170 medicines were identified to be counterfeit in the illegal distribution channels over the past 5 years. Such illegal trade often occurred through the internet. Among the cases identified, lifestyle, growth hormones for bodybuilding use and sleeping drugs played a particular role. Unauthorised copies and fakes of licensed medicines for the treatment of erectile dysfunction (e.g. ViagraR8, CialisR9) and viral infections (e.g. TamifluR10) have also been on the sales lists of criminal counterfeiters. Counterfeits may include fakes which do not contain any of the medicine or the wrong medicine. At the same time, they may damage the image of a product and companies investing in the research and application of these products, while criminals try to make money without taking any responsibilities and risks.
7 Developed by Sanofi Aventis
8 market authorisation holder: Pfizer
9 market authorisation holder: Lilly ICOS
10 market authorisation holder: Hoffmann La Roche
To be marketed in the EU, all medicines must undergo a rigorous evaluation for authorisation to demonstrate that they are effective, adequately safe and of high quality. This is ensured by a robust regulatory system for the authorisation of new medicines. The EU also has a strong legal framework for the licensing, manufacturing and distribution of medicines. At the end of the distribution chain, only licensed pharmacies and approved retailers are allowed to offer medicines for sale, including the legitimate sale over the Internet.
Member States enforcement services closely cooperate to combat fake medicines. To further protect patients and industry from criminal counterfeit activities, the Commission is currently analysing the situation and working together with Member States, the European Medicines Agency and international partners on what further actions may be necessary to safeguard public health.
BfArM. BfArM warnt vor Arzneimittelfälschungen aus dem Internet. Press release 16th October
2007. Available at: http://www.bfarm.de/nn_1194774/DE/BfArM/Presse/mitteil2007/pm26-2007.html. Latest access on November 6th 2008.
26/07 BfArM warnt vor Arzneimittelfälschungen aus dem Internet
Das Bundesinstitut für Arzneimittel und Medizinprodukte (BfArM) warnt aus aktuellem Anlass erneut vor dem Kauf und der Einnahme von Potenz- und Schlankheitsmitteln aus unsicherem Internethandel. Im Rahmen von Ermittlungen im Zusammenhang mit dem illegalen Internethandel sind gefälschte Tabletten verschiedener Schlankheitsmittel und Mittel zur Behandlung von Erektionsstörungen in einer Produktionsstätte in Deutschland beschlagnahmt worden. Diese wurden über das Internet weltweit angeboten. Durch
verschreibungspflichtigen Arzneimittel, die u. a. auf verschiedenen Internetseiten wie pillenpharm.com, usa-medz.com und emediline.com angeboten wurden, haben ergeben, dass es sich bei den dort verkauften Produkten um Fälschungen handelt. Besonders bedenklich ist, dass entweder statt des deklarierten Wirkstoffes ein anderer hochwirksamer nicht deklarierter Bestandteil oder der deklarierte Wirkstoff in viel zu geringer Konzentration enthalten ist. Vor der Einnahme dieser Arzneimittel, die in kleinen Plastiktütchen verpackt versandt werden, muss grundsätzlich gewarnt werden. Das BfArM empfiehlt daher nach den Worten seines Leiters, Prof. Dr. Reinhard Kurth, „Arzneimittel nicht aus unsicheren Quellen über das Internet zu erwerben. Dies betrifft besonders rezeptpflichtige Arzneimittel wie zum Beispiel auch Medikamente zur Behandlung von Erektionsstörungen, da sie wegen möglicher Risiken der Verordnung und der
„Wenn Sie den Verdacht haben, Ihnen könnte eine Fälschung vorliegen, sollten Sie das Produkt auf keinen Fall einnehmen und Ihren Arzt oder Apotheker fragen―, rät Prof. Kurth.
Swissmedic. Swissmedic met de nouveau en garde contre les contrefaçons d‘antigrippaux.
Press release 25 April 2006. Available at: http://www.swissmedic.ch/Archiv/Tamiflu_25.04.06-f.pdf. Latest access on November 6th 2008.
Communiqué de presse Rédaction : Swissmedic, Institut suisse des produits thérapeutiques Communication Hallerstrasse 7 Case postale CH-3000 Berne 9 Tél. 031 322 02 11 / Fax 031 322 02 12 www.swissmedic.ch Le 25 avril 2006 Swissmedic met de nouveau en garde contre les contrefaçons d‘antigrippaux Encouragé par les risques potentiels liés à la grippe aviaire, le commerce illégal sur Internet de produits vendus sous l‘appel ation de l‘antigrippal Tamiflu ne cesse de croître. Or, comme le montre la récente analyse réalisée par les laboratoires de Swissmedic, certains de ces produits sont en fait des contrefaçons. Les contrefaçons de médicaments présentent des dangers considérables pour la santé. Swissmedic déconseille donc la prise de médicaments provenant de sources non contrôlées. On trouve partout dans le monde sur Internet une pléthore de médicaments vendus sous le nom de Tamiflu. Reste que seule la préparation originale destinée à lutter contre la prolifération des virus de la grippe dans l‘organisme humain vendue sous ce nom de marque est officiellement autorisée en Suisse par Swissmedic. Soumise à ordonnance, elle est distribuée par l‘entreprise Roche. L‘analyse en laboratoire d‘une préparation vendue sur Internet comme du Tamiflu a révélé des résultats inquiétants : au lieu du principe actif original oseltamivir, le produit concerné contenait une faible dose de paracétamol, un principe actif antipyrétique et analgésique inapte à enrayer une infection virale chez l‘homme, accroissant ainsi notablement le risque pour la santé. D‘autres autorités sanitaires en Europe ont également découvert des contrefaçons similaires. Distinguer une contrefaçon de l‘original Dans le cas d‘espèce, le faux Tamiflu vendu sur Internet ne comporte aucune notice d‘embal age. Les maigres informations fournies avec le produit sont partiellement erronées et ne répondent en aucun cas aux exigences actuelles auxquelles doivent satisfaire les médicaments soumis à autorisation. Elles font également l‘impasse sur les indications essentiel es concernant les précautions à observer lors de la prise du médicament ou sur ses effets indésirables possibles. De même, les informations sur le titulaire de l‘autorisation, la posologie ou la date de péremption font défaut. La contrefaçon est clairement reconnaissable - même pour les profanes - puisque la préparation est livrée dans un sachet plastique et non dans l‘embal age en carton habituel. Il manque également sur les gélules l‘impression de la raison sociale de l‘entreprise et du dosage (voir illustrations ciaprès). Aucune contrefaçon de médicament n‘a pour l‘instant été constatée dans les centres de distribution officiels de Suisse. En accord avec d‘autres autorités européennes de contrôle des médicaments, Swissmedic continue toutefois de vérifier par échantillonnage si des contrefaçons de Tamiflu sont proposées dans des canaux de distribution non autorisés. Swissmedic déconseil e expressément l‘achat de médicaments provenant de sources non contrôlées, en particulier sur Internet ou par l‘intermédiaire de personnes qui ne sont pas des professionnels de la santé. Comme l‘atteste l‘exemple du « Tamiflu » à base de paracétamol,
l‘achat de produits pharmaceutiques sur Internet présente un risque certain pour la santé. Swissmedic a publié sur ce sujet un guide complet intitulé « Internet et les médicaments », à télécharger sur son site Web (www.swissmedic.ch /Hot Topics). Communiqué de presse 2006 Swissmedic · Hallerstr. 7 · Case postale · CH-3000 Berne 9 · www.swissmedic.ch · Tél. +41 31 322 02 11 · Fax +41 31 322 02 12 Dans un communiqué daté du 21.12.05, Swissmedic avait déjà mis en garde contre les risques de contrefaçons de l‘antigrippal Tamiflu. Lien : http://www.swissmedic.ch/Archiv/Faelschungsthematik.pdf Pour toute information complémentaire, contacter : Monique Helfer, responsable Communication, tél. 031 322 02 76. Gélules de Tamiflu : contrefaçon à gauche, préparation originale à droite Emballage de Tamiflu : contrefaçon (à gauche), original (à droite) (Illustrations : Swissmedic Laboratoires OMCL) Swissmedic. Swissmedic met de nouveau en garde contre les contrefaçons d‘antigrippaux. Press release 25 April 2006. Available at: http://www.swissmedic.ch/Archiv/Tamiflu_25.04.06-f.pdf. Latest access on November 6th 2008.
 Health Canada. Health Canada reminds consumers about the risks of buying drugs online. Information
asc/media/advisories-avis/2007/2007_100_e.html. Latest access on November 6th 2008.
Health Canada reminds consumers about the risks of buying drugs online
August 15, 2007
For immediate release
OTTAWA - Health Canada is reminding Canadians about the potential dangers of buying prescription drugs
online, following the July 4th release of the British Columbia Coroner's report on the death of a woman which
was attributed to prescription drugs purchased online.
While legitimate online Canadian businesses are an option to consider, the online purchase of any drug poses the potential for serious health risks, especially when drugs are shipped directly to Canadian consumers from sources outside of Canada. Consumers should be aware that some Internet sites may falsely claim to be Canadian, and consumers can identify if a drug has been shipped to them from a foreign country by checking the shipping information on the exterior of the package.
Buying drugs from an Internet-based business that does not provide a street address and telephone number may pose serious health risks because consumers have no way of knowing where these companies are located, where they get their drugs, what is in their drugs, or how to reach them if there is a problem. Buying drugs on the Internet may also pose financial risks: the product may not be shipped at all, or if it is coming from another country, it could be stopped and refused entry at the border by Canadian authorities.
If you order from these sites, you may get counterfeit drugs that may contain the incorrect dose, the wrong ingredients, dangerous additives, or no active ingredients at all, which could result in potentially serious health risks. Even if these drugs do not harm you directly or immediately, your condition may get worse without effective treatment.
In order to minimize the risk of purchasing counterfeit drugs, consumers who choose to purchase their medication via the Internet should not do business with any Web site or company that:
refuses to give a street address, telephone number or way of contacting a pharmacist;
offers prescription drugs without a prescription;
offers to issue a prescription based on answers to an online questionnaire;
claims to have a "miracle cure" for any serious condition; or
sells products that are not approved for sale in Canada.
sells products that are being provided directly to consumers from foreign sources.
If you order prescription drugs without being examined and monitored by a health care practitioner, you may be misdiagnosed, and miss the opportunity to get appropriate treatment that would help you. You may also put yourself at risk for drug interactions, or harmful side effects that a qualified health professional could better foresee.
In order to minimize risk, Canadians should only take medication that has been prescribed to them by their doctor. Patients should be aware of the name of the drugs they are taking and be familiar with their usual colour, size, shape and any imprints or markings on the drug. Patients who are concerned that they may have received counterfeit drugs should consult their physician immediately.
Counterfeit products may have one or more of the following characteristics:
labels with spelling mistakes;
labels with no Drug Identification Number (DIN) or Natural Product Number (NPN);
product having different taste or flavour than the product normally used.
Consumers who may have encountered suspected counterfeit health products are encouraged to contact Health Canada by calling 1-800-267-9675.
In Canada, pharmacies are regulated by the provinces. If you have questions about whether an Internet pharmacy is legitimate, please contact the licensing body in your province or territory.
For more information, please visit the It's Your Health articles:
 FDA. The Possible Dangers of Buying Medicine Online. FDA Consumer Health Information 2 July 2007. Available at: http://www.fda.gov/consumer/features/drugsonline0707.html. Latest access on November 6th 2008.
The Possible Dangers of Buying Medicine Online (see next page)
People can be confident that Web sites that are VIPPS-approved are legitimate. Legitimate pharmacies that carry
the VIPPS® seal are listed at www.vipps.info
Drugs purchased over the Internet by an American patient who was told that the products were manufactured in the
United States and were being sold from Canada. The drugs he actually received are fake "knockoffs" from India.
On this page:
The Food and Drug Administration cannot warn
people enough about the possible dangers of buying medications online. Some Web sites sell medicine, such as prescription and over-the-counter drugs, that may not be safe to use and could put people's health at risk. The current system of federal and state safeguards for protecting consumers from using inappropriate or unsafe drugs has generally served the country well. But FDA says that the best way consumers can protect themselves is to become educated about safe online shopping.
SET YOUR SITES HIGH
Buying such prescription and over-the-counter drugs online from a company you don't know means you may not know exactly what you're getting. While many Web sites are operating legally and offering convenience, privacy, and the safeguards of traditional procedures for dispensing drugs, consumers must be wary of "rogue Web sites" that aren't operating within the law. A Web site can look very sophisticated and legitimate but actually be an illegal operation.
These sites often sell unapproved drugs, or if they market approved drugs, they often sidestep required practices meant to protect consumers. Some Web sites sell counterfeit drugs. Although counterfeit drugs may look exactly like real FDA-approved drugs, they are not legitimate and are of unknown quality and safety. If you're considering buying medicine over the Internet, look for Web sites with practices that protect you. If there is no way to contact the Web site pharmacy by phone, if prices are dramatically lower than the competition, or if no prescription from your doctor is required, you should be especially wary.
Safe Web sites should
Be located in the United States.
Be licensed by the state board of pharmacy where the Web site is operating (visit
www.nabp.info for a list of state boards of pharmacy).
Have a licensed pharmacist available to answer your questions.
Require a prescription from your doctor or other health care professional who is licensed to
Provide contact information and allow you to talk to a person if you have problems or
The National Association of Boards of Pharmacy's (NABP) Verified Internet Pharmacy Practice Sites™ Seal, also known as VIPPS® Seal, gives a seal of approval to Internet pharmacy sites that apply and meet state licensure requirements and other VIPPS® criteria.
People can be confident that Web sites that are VIPPS-approved are legitimate. Legitimate pharmacies that carry the VIPPS® seal are listed at
Unsafe Web sites
Typically don't know your medical history or the details about your current illness or
Send you drugs with unknown quality or origin.
Could give you the wrong medicine or another dangerous product for your illness.
May sell prescription drugs even without a prescription—this is against the law!
May not protect your personal information.
KNOW YOUR MEDICINES
Before you get any new medicine for the first time, talk to your doctor about any special steps you need to take to fill your prescription. In addition
Any time you get a prescription refilled, check the physical appearance: color, texture, and
shape of the drug. Even if all of these characteristics appear to be okay, there may be a problem if the medication doesn't taste like it has in the past.
Pay special attention to altered or unsealed containers or changes in product packaging.
Alert your pharmacist, or whoever is providing treatment, if you notice any differences or
anything unusual about the product packaging.
Make sure that you only use drugs that have been prescribed by your health care provider
who is licensed in the United States to prescribe medications.
Be aware that some medicines sold online
Are too old, too strong or too weak.
Aren't made using safe standards.
Aren't safe to use with other medicines or products.
Aren't labeled, stored, or shipped correctly.
BE AWARE OF COUNTERFEIT MEDICINE
Counterfeit drugs are fake or copycat medicines that can be difficult to identify. The deliberate and fraudulent practice of counterfeiting can apply to both brand name and generic products, where the identity of the source is often mislabeled in a way that suggests it is the authentic approved product. Counterfeit drugs may
Not help the condition or disease the medicine is intended to treat.
Lead to dangerous side effects.
Contain the wrong active ingredient.
Be made with the wrong amounts of ingredients.
Contain no active ingredients at all or contain too much of an active ingredient.
Be packaged in phony packaging that looks legitimate.
For example, counterfeit versions of the FDA-approved weight loss drug Xenical, which contains the active ingredient orlistat, recently were obtained by three consumers from two different Web sites. The agency announced in May 2007 that none of the capsules that the consumers received contained orlistat. In fact, laboratory analysis showed that one capsule actually contained sibutramine, which is the active ingredient in Meridia, a prescription drug also approved by FDA to help obese people lose weight and maintain weight loss.
Using medication that contains an active ingredient other than what was prescribed by your licensed health care provider is generally unsafe.
FDA also became aware recently of a number of people who placed orders over the Internet for
Ambien (zolpidem tartnate)
Lexapro (escitalopram oxalate)
Instead of the intended drug, several customers received a product that contained haloperidol, a powerful anti-psychotic drug. As a result, some sought emergency medical treatment for symptoms such as difficulty in breathing, muscle spasms and muscle stiffness—all problems that can occur with
FDA continues to be proactive in aggressively protecting consumers from counterfeit drugs. The agency is working with drug manufacturers, wholesalers, and retailers to identify and prevent counterfeit drugs. FDA also has created an internal task force to explore the use of modern technologies and other measures that will make it more difficult for counterfeit drugs to get mixed up
Generally, medications that have not been purchased with a prescription from a state-licensed pharmacy located in the United States may be unsafe and ineffective. But remember, even those drugs that are purchased from a state-licensed pharmacy Web site cannot be guaranteed safe and effective.
Only buy from state-licensed pharmacy sites based in the U.S. (preferably from VIPPS-
certified sites, when possible).
Don't buy from sites that sell prescription drugs without a prescription.
Don't buy from sites that offer to prescribe a medication for the first time without a physical
exam by your doctor.
Check with your state board of pharmacy or the NABP to see if an online pharmacy has a
valid pharmacy license and meets state quality standards.
Sites ending in ".com" are usually commercial sites selling products (they may be either
legitimate or rogue sites). Sites that end in ".gov" (government), ".edu" (universities or medical schools), and ".org" (not-for-profit groups) may be good sources of health information.
Use legitimate Web sites that have a licensed pharmacist to answer your questions.
Look for privacy and security policies that are easy to find and easy to understand.
Don't give any personal information, such as a social security number, credit card
information, or medical or health history, unless you are sure the Web site will keep your information safe and private.
Make sure that the site will not sell your personal information, unless you agree.
Report Web sites that may be problematic. You can do this by visiting
and clicking on "Notify FDA about problem websites."
ALERT: For a list of drugs that you should NOT buy online because of special safety restrictions,
To see a press release called "FDA Finds Consumers Continue to Buy Potentially Risky Drugs Over the Internet," visit
To see a press release called ―FDA Says Consumers Continue to Buy Risky Drugs Online,‖ visit
Date Posted: July 2, 2007 Updated Nov. 2, 2007
France, Afssaps/Ordre national des pharmaciens: ―Guide à l‘usage des pharmaciens‖.
 United Kingdom, MHRA/RPSGB: Counterfeit medicines - Guidance for Pharmacists.
 EDQM: news and general information
Note for the Editors
The European Pharmacopoeia and the EDQM (a Directorate of the Council of Europe notably in charge of
the secretariat of the European Pharmacopoeia) have a mission to protect and promote public and animal
health, through the elaboration of quality standards of medicines for human and veterinary use.
Medicines need to be safe, effective and of good quality in order to produce the expected therapeutic effect.
The EDQM works closely with its international and European partners to strengthen measures in order to
ensure that substandard or counterfeit medicines do not reach the marketplace.
The EDQM‘s networks collaborate on a daily basis with all the authorities involved in the standardisation,
regulation and control of medicines for human and veterinary use. Since December 2006, the EDQM took
over activities of the Council of Europe in the domains of blood transfusion and organ transplantation.
COMBINING FORCES TO PROTECT PATIENTS FROM COUNTERFEIT MEDICINES
AND PHARMACEUTICAL CRIME: A MODEL FOR A NETWORK AND SINGLE POINTS
OF CONTACT (SPOCS) ACROSS DISCIPLINES AND BORDERS
Counterfeiting of medical products and other related pharmaceutical crimes put public health in danger in
Europe and worldwide.
Rapid and effective communication and concerted co-operation amongst officials in a country and across
national borders are a pre-requisite to contain and prevent harm to patient‘s health, disrupt supply of suspect
counterfeit medical products, prosecute and deter criminals, and to avoid damage to healthcare systems.
Often, communication and co-operation are hampered by the lack of adequate structures and procedures for
concerned health and law enforcement.
The conclusions of the Council of Europe 2005 and 2006 international conferences on counterfeit medicines
(link1) called for the establishment of a network of dedicated contact persons (SPOCs) within authorities
involved in combating counterfeit medicines and other forms of pharmaceutical crimes.
Inspired by the above conclusions, the Council of Europe Ad hoc Group on Counterfeit Medicines developed
a model for a network and SPOCs and adopted it in June 2007. This model establishes a network of entities
responsible for the management of notifications of medical products suspect of being counterfeit or of other
pharmaceutical crimes. The entities involved comprise drug regulatory authorities including the official
medicines control laboratories, customs, police
and justice authorities. The importance of co-operation with industry, health professionals and other
stakeholders is recognised.
The European Directorate for the Quality of Medicines and HealthCare (EDQM) is pleased that the 2nd
General Meeting of the WHO International Medical Products Anti-counterfeiting Taskforce (IMPACT), Lisbon,
12-13 December 2007, endorsed the model for a network of single points of contact (SPOCs) enhancing its
outreach and applicability to a global level. The EDQM, assisted by its Network of Official Medicines Control
Laboratories (OMCL Network), has a worldwide reputation in standard setting and surveillance programmes
for pharmaceuticals and contributes significantly to the Council of Europe programme of activities targeted at
combating counterfeit medical products.
EDQM is supporting its expert bodies entrusted with a programme of activities dealing inter alia with public
health oriented multi-sectorial prevention and risk management strategies to fight counterfeit medicines and
pharmaceutical crimes, including the development of and training on best practices and the support to the
elaboration and implementation of relevant national legislation and international legal instruments.
Responding to the situation in Europe and keeping pace with criminal inventiveness require multisector and
multiorganisation counterstrategies: the EDQM will contribute through its programme of activities to
improving networking and co-operation in member states through inter alia a network of SPOCs.
The network will serve your interest in safe and genuine medicines – your observations of suspect medical
products are important: Communicate them to your doctor or pharmacist or the national drug regulatory
Model see next page
AD HOC GROUP ON COUNTERFEIT MEDICINES (P-SP-PH/CMED)
PROTECT PATIENTS FROM COUNTERFEIT MEDICINES AND PHARMACEUTICAL CRIME: A MODEL FOR A NETWORK AND SINGLE POINTS OF CONTACT (SPOCS) ACROSS DISCIPLINES AND BORDERS
Counterfeit medicines and pharmaceutical crime in general are fast upcoming phenomena which
directly involve public health and do need a multidisciplinary, multisectorial and cross-border
approach. The basic principles of an adequate approach are collaboration and responsibility.
Collaboration can be set up ad hoc for isolated cases but should be structured within a network.
Within networks, single points of contact (SPOCs) should collaborate to meet the pre-set
In the conclusions of the Council of Europe 2005 and 2006 international conferences on counterfeit
medicines11 the participants called for the establishment of a network of Single Points of Contact
for speeding up effective co-operation and public health protection in the case of
suspect/confirmed cases of counterfeit medicines.
The Council of Europe Ad hoc Group on Counterfeit Medicines developed a model for a network
and SPOCs which is presented in this document.
The Council of Europe Ad hoc Group on Counterfeit Medicines programme of activities comprises
calls for the development of practical tools in the field of counterfeit medicines and other
pharmaceutical crimes for authorities and other stakeholders involved in combating counterfeit
medicines and other pharmaceutical crimes. The Ad hoc Group is of the view that international co-
operation should be facilitated through an operational network of SPOCs and through standard
procedures at regional and global levels.
Central Reporting Point: located at the SPOC authority where all information on pharmaceutical
crime is centralised and information is disseminated to network partners on a need to know basis.
Stakeholders (such as pharmacists, patients) should report information to the Central Reporting
Point of the Drug Regulatory Authority
National SPOC: operates as contact point within the international network and belongs to the
Network: formal or informal collaboration between SPOCs at national level.
Networking: activities between network members consisting of operational management and
information exchange in relation to pharmaceutical crime
Official Medicines Control Laboratories: national medicines control laboratories, preferably
organised in a supranational network12, are important partners and should be involved on a regular
or ad hoc basis.
Pharmaceutical crime: any crime with medicinal products or health products comprising
counterfeiting, adulteration, tampering, manufacture/distribution and possession of unlicensed
medicines, diversion, trafficking and pharmaceutical crime through the internet
12 An example of a network of Official Medicines Control Laboratories (OMCL) is the OMCL Network co-ordinated by the European Directorate for the Quality of Medicines (EDQM) and Healthcare Link
Signal: any appearance of a problem with medicinal or health products which can be considered
as pharmaceutical crime
Single Point of Contact (SPOC): an entity responsible for the operational management of a signal
in their own area of responsibility and the exchange of information
Responsible person or SPOC for industry (RP): the pharmaceutical industry is part of the
network but has no enforcement authority. Pharmaceutical industry staff is often an important part
to the case and are involved on an ad hoc basis. Each company should provide a RP or SPOC
This model should be the basis for
- establishing the concept of a SPOC network at regional and global levels;
- countries checking their existing networks or to establishing new SPOC networks at regional and
Structure of the network
(Co-operation between all SPOCs,
co-ordination by a National SPOC)
Authority (DRA) incl.
Risk Assessment for
SPOCs and a network are inseparably linked with each other. A national network should be set up
by and between the main national authorities who are competent for handling pharmaceutical
crime. For most countries the official authorities are DRA, Police, Customs and Justice. It is
proposed that the National SPOC is located within the DRA.
The OMCL network is an important partner to the network and should be involved on a regular or
ad hoc basis.
Objectives of the national network
1. Regular and ad hoc meetings should be organised and a secretariat installed. All information
should be collected and stored in a structured secure database at the level of the SPOC and the
network. The network uses a Rapid Alert Form13 if necessary. The network shall create procedures for handling routine pharmaceutical crime signals (e.g. internet post office parcels) and set up online training by e.g. secure website.
3. The network is responsible for an annual report which reflects all data collected in relation with
pharmaceutical crime, the recognition of new trends in pharmaceutical crime, initiatives taken for improving legislation, training programs set up for the different network partners and awareness programs to the different stakeholders.
4. The network actively updates its references at international level and sets up procedures for co-
operation, information exchange, data collection and management.
5. Stakeholders should notify any signal to the Central Reporting Point of the Drug Regulatory
Authorities who informs the network if necessary.
Profile and function of a SPOC within a national network
The National SPOC should have the following knowledge:
1. The SPOC should have a broad knowledge on medicinal products.
2. The SPOC should be experienced in enforcement in the area of pharmaceutical crime (including
field investigation in pharmaceutical crime).
3. The SPOC should have a good knowledge of medicines legislation and Intellectual Property
4. The SPOC should have a basic knowledge in criminal law and investigation (e.g. handling of
All SPOCs should have the following competences and tasks: 1. The SPOC represents the co-operation partner as contact point within the network. 2. The SPOC manages incoming and outgoing information and - if required- reports a case to the
other national SPOCs on a need to know basis.
3. The SPOC handles the information flow in accordance with the applicable legislation on data
protection legislation. Confidential information such as patient names and/or names of notifiers etc should not be included in the information.
4. The SPOC develops and applies a model procedure for managing counterfeit cases and
pharmaceutical crime cases within his/her authority.
5. The DRA SPOC co-ordinates the risk assessment of a pharmaceutical crime signal. The signal
shall be identified, analysed, evaluated, and treated. The risk management procedure shall be continuously reviewed and improved. In any case, the protection of public health has priority.
6. The operational SPOC takes the lead in investigation when appropriate. 7. The SPOC may set up a Pharmaceutical Crime Unit consisting of an operational and an
13 Reference is made to the RAS system operated by EMEA and PIC/s. On the basis of the existing RAS form, the Ad hoc Group developed a RAS form for specifically exchanging information on counterfeit medicines. Link
The SPOC has the competence of giving detailed information to other SPOCs in the international
and national network. Regarding information flow, it is important to differentiate between
information (analysed and interpreted data) and evidence (information being relevant for
proceedings and which may be used in court). Information should only be exchanged between
SPOCs and between countries having regard to privacy laws and legal procedures. However, no
legal procedure should prevent fast information exchange in life threatening situations.
A SPOC needs not necessarily to be a single person, but also may be an entity such as a group or
a department within an agency. If the SPOC consists of several persons, then only one e-mail
address and one phone/fax number needs to be indicated in order to ensure precise contact and to
avoid unclear responsibility.
Reporting procedure for SPOCs
The model procedure on how to manage counterfeit medicines on a national level has been
described in the ―Guidance of the management of counterfeit medicines – Co-operation structures
and model procedure‖: diagram, see Attachment.
At international level, the national SPOC may use a Rapid Alert Form14 for reporting
pharmaceutical crime to other National SPOCs.
The information exchange procedure is based on this model procedure and describes the
conditions for communicating a case or signal of counterfeit medicines to an international SPOC
network of National SPOCs:
- Counterfeit medicine(s) reached legal distribution channels;
- Counterfeit medicines‘ batches were distributed internationally.
With a view to effective implementation of a network at regional and global levels it is
1. establish a list of National SPOC's
2. list of all SPOC's for each country
SPOC system – how is it kept alive
A successful example of a well maintained network is the Rapid Alert Database of representatives
of each country to whom alerts/ defective product recall notifications are addressed. This list is
regularly updated by fax by the inspections sector of EMEA.
Once established, the SPOCs list should be updated regularly by a supranational body, for
example by a periodical questionnaire asking to update the coordinates to the National SPOC's.
The updated contact list will then be distributed to the SPOC's either through fax transmission
through access to a secure database.
14 Reference is made to the RAS system operated by EMEA and PIC/s. On the basis of the existing RAS form, the Ad hoc Group developed a RAS form for specifically exchanging information on counterfeit medicines. Link
Transfer of information within network and evaluation of signal
Clarify product characteristics and
the medicinal product‘s distribution
Is the medicinal
Does it comply with
Assess the risk for public health and
develop a strategy for measures to
be taken (including information
Co-ordination and taking of
appropriate enforcement action
(e.g. seizure of
(e.g. prohibition of
(e.g. fine, arrest,
 United Kingdom, MHRA: Press release: Recall of Counterfeit Casodex batch. 01 Jun 2007. Press release: Recall of Counterfeit Casodex batch Printer friendly version (new window) Related information: MHRA pages: * Counterfeit medicines and medical devices * Drug Alerts Press release Date: 01 Jun 2007 Time: 14:00 Subject: Medicines Alert and Recall of Casodex Contact: Press Office 020 7084 3535/3564 or [email protected] Out-of-hours 07770 446 189 The MHRA has been alerted to a counterfeit batch of Casodex (Bicalutamide) 50mg tablets (batch number 65520). This drug is used in the treatment of patients with prostate cancer. The MHRA has issued a drug alert to recall this product from the market, to minimise the risk to patients. The MHRA was contacted by a wholesaler, who was offered a suspicious batch of Casodex by another wholesaler. This is now subject of a Class 1 medicines recall, today, 01 June 2007. We take this very seriously and a criminal investigation is being carried out. Patients should contact their pharmacist as soon as possible if they are taking this medication, with the batch number of 65520. They should take their medication with them, so their pharmacist can check it and return it to the licensed manufacturer, AstraZeneca, for further examination. At present there is no evidence of patients having any adverse reactions specifically related to the counterfeits. Patients should consult their GP if they have any treatment or health concerns. Notes to Editor 1. Casodex contains the active ingredient called Bicalutamide. This drug is used in the treatment of patients with prostate cancer. The MHRA is working in conjunction with AstraZeneca the licence holder. 2. The MHRA investigation is continuing into this case. At present we are investigating the possibility of links with the counterfeit drug recalls of Zyprexa (24 May 2007) and Plavix (25 May 2007) 3. The initial laboratory tests on the seized counterfeits (batch 65520) show that the samples contain approximately 75% of the labelled active ingredient. A counterfeit may also contain harmful ingredients. Work is ongoing to obtain more information about any additional ingredients in these counterfeit tablets, but in the meantime we have issued a recall to minimise the risks to patients. 4. Counterfeits are notoriously difficult to detect with the untrained eye and even experts sometimes require full forensic laboratory tests to determine whether a suspect product is indeed a counterfeit. 5. What are parallel imports? Parallel imported products are often sold at lower prices in the EU and are allowed to be imported and relabelled for sale in the UK. Parallel imported products have a marketing authorisation issued by the MHRA. The repacking and relabelling of parallel imports are
inspected by the MHRA but the importation and re-distribution takes place outside the original manufacturer‘s supply chain. Download documents: * Class 1 Drug Alert (action now - including out of hours): Counterfeit parallel imported product - Casodex Tablets 50mg (Bicalutamide) (45Kb) * Press release: Recall of Counterfeit Casodex batch (40Kb) Download Acrobat Reader for free Adobe text conversion tools
 United Kingdom, MHRA: Press release: Counterfeit medicines gang convicted in Operation Stormgrand. 17 Sep 2007. Press release: Counterfeit medicines gang convicted in Operation Stormgrand Printer friendly version (new window) Related information: MHRA pages: * Counterfeit medicines and medical devices Press release Date: 17 Sep 2007 Time: 16:35 Subject: Counterfeit medicines gang convicted Contact: Press Office 020 7084 3535/3564 or [email protected] Out-of-hours 07770 446 189 An investigation by the Medicines and Healthcare products Regulatory Agency (MHRA) has today led to the sentencing of a man to four and a half years' imprisonment at Kingston Crown Court. He was convicted of four offences under the Medicines Act and Trade Marks Act. Three other men have also been found guilty, one of whom was also convicted of money laundering offences. The offences concerned the conspiracy to smuggle and supply counterfeit medicines into and, in some cases, out of the UK The men were charged with masterminding the industrial-scale supply of counterfeit medicine between 2002 and 2005, involving millions of pounds worth of counterfeit Viagra, Cialis and Propecia. These seizures resulted in the MHRA unravelling the biggest conspiracy of the supply of counterfeit medicines thus far in the UK. The seizure of over £1,500,000 of counterfeit medicines was intended to be supplied to customers through this conspiracy. In the autumn of 2002, counterfeit Viagra was seized by HM Revenue & Customs at Stansted airport. This was followed by a number of other seizures at Stansted and Heathrow airports where false descriptions for a variety of products e.g. ―Vitamins C & E‖, ―Calcium for Kids‖ and ―Samples of Mineral Supplements for Dogs‖ were used. The counterfeit medicines were filtered for sale through licensed wholesalers to pharmacies in the UK and through internet sites operating both in the UK and overseas. In 2004 counterfeit Cialis made its way into the regulated supply chain reaching patient level, this lead to a recall of that product from the UK market The investigation traced a complex network of individuals, companies and bank accounts facilitating the movement of these medicines. Over that period of time, the men conspired together with the common purpose to profit from these counterfeits. The men were part of the UK distribution arm of a global counterfeiting ring, operating from China, India and Pakistan, and extending to the Caribbean and the USA. Mick Deats, Head of Enforcement at the MHRA said, ―The MHRA treat every report of a counterfeit medicine as a serious incident. We will continue to use every power at our disposal to prosecute those engaged in this illicit activity and confiscate the proceeds of their crimes. This successful prosecution should serve as a clear signal to those contemplating the supply of counterfeit medicines. The public are strongly advised to avoid buying medicines online, where the risk of being provided with counterfeit medicines is greatly increased.‖ Notes to Editor
1. Mr Ashish Halai (DOB 13.07.74) of 1 Nicholas Road, Elstree, Borehamwood, Herts, WD6 3JY pleaded guilty on 24 February 2007 to four counts. Mr Gary Haywood (DOB 16.03.48) of 63 Waterfall Way, Barwell, Leicester; Ashwin Patel (DOB 01.03.82) of 196 Chaberlayne Road, London, NW10; and Zahid Mirza (DOB 14.08.60) of 17 Milverton Gardens, Ilford, Essex were all found guilty on various counts Details of the verdicts per person are attached in Annex A. 2. An overview of each defendant‘s involvement in the conspiracy is outlined in Annex B. 3. All names, addresses, occupations a dates of birth were provided by the defendants at the time of questioning/arrest. 4. The trial at Kingston Crown Court has been heard over six and a half months, during which time, evidence was received by the jury from witnesses both in person and via live satellite link from the USA and Mexico. 5. One of the defendants, Zahid Mirza, absconded from trial on 30 August 2007 after being found guilty of five offences. A warrant has been issued for his arrest. 6. The sentencing of Gary Haywood, Ashwin Patel and Zahid Mirza will take place on date to be confirmed at Kingston Crown Court. 7. Confiscation hearings will take place on a date to be confirmed. 8. Retrial of George Patino, Rajendra Shah, Ketan Mehta, Alpesh Patel is expected to commence September 2008. 9. The MHRA will be hosting a major international conference about counterfeit medicines on 22 November 2007 at the Hilton London Metropole. It will bring together key organisations, high-profile international speakers and strategic ideas on the problem of counterfeit medicines. The event will focus on international co-ordination efforts and the UK strategy and response to this issue. 10. The MHRA is the government agency responsible for ensuring that medicines and medical devices work, and are acceptably safe. No product is risk-free. Underpinning all our work lie robust and fact-based judgements to ensure that the benefits to patients and the public justify the risks. We keep watch over medicines and devices, and take any necessary action to protect the public promptly if there is a problem. 11. Where appropriate the MHRA will use the Proceeds of Crime Act 2002 to determine whether or not benefits were accrued through criminal activity and will recoup illicit earnings if the individual is found guilty. Annex A Ashish Halai (31) Businessman 1 Nicholas Road Elstree, Borehamwood Herts WD6 3JY Charged counts 1 to 9 Pleaded guilty 24/2/07 counts 1 - 4 Gary Haywood (58) (In custody) Salesman 63 Waterfall Way Barwell Leicester
Charged & found guilty on all 11 counts listedCharged & found guilty on all 11 counts listed Ashwin Patel (24) University graduate 196 Chaberlayne Road London NW10 Charged counts 1 to 9 Found guilty counts 1,2, 3, 4, 6, 7,8 Found not guilty counts 5 & 9 Zahid Mirza (45) Businessman 17 Milverton Gardens Ilford Essex Charged counts 1,2,3,4,7,8 Found guilty counts 1,2,3,4,8 Found not guilty count 7 COUNT 1 Conspiracy to evade the prohibition on the unauthorised use of a trade mark in relation to goods, contrary to section 92 (1) of the Trade Marks Act 1994 and section 1(1) of the Criminal Law Act 1977. Between 1 January 2002 and 12 October 2005 conspired together with ASHISH HALAI and with other persons known and unknown to offer or expose for sale goods, namely medicinal products, which bore, or the packaging of which bore, the manufacturer‘s trademark sign ―Viagra‖ and with a view to gain for themselves or others, or with intent to cause loss to another, and without the consent of the proprietor, COUNT 2 Conspiracy to place a medicinal product on the market, contrary to Schedule 3(1) of the Medicines for Human Use (Marketing Authorisations etc.) Regulations 1994 and section 1(1) of the Criminal Law Act 1977. Between 1 January 2002 and 12 October 2005 conspired together with ASHISH HALAI and with other persons known and unknown to place a relevant medicinal product, namely Sildenafil Citrate in tablet form, on the market without holding a Community or United Kingdom marketing authorisation in respect of that product. COUNT 3 Conspiracy to evade the prohibition on the unauthorised use of a trade mark in relation to goods, contrary to section 92 (1) of the Trade Marks Act 1994 and section 1(1) of the Criminal Law Act 1977. Between 1 January 2002 and 12 October 2005 conspired together with ASHISH HALAI and with other persons known and unknown to offer or expose for sale goods, namely medicinal products, which bore, or the packaging of which bore, the manufacturer‘s trademark sign ―Cialis‖ and with a view to gain for themselves or others, or with intent to cause loss to another, and without the consent of the proprietor.
COUNT 4 Conspiracy to place a medicinal product on the market contrary to Schedule 3(1) of the Medicines for Human Use (Marketing Authorisations etc.) Regulations 1994 and section 1(1) of the Criminal Law Act 1977. Between 1 January 2002 and 12 October 2005 conspired together with ASHISH HALAI and with other persons known and unknown to place a relevant medicinal product, namely Tadalafil in tablet form, on the market without holding a Community or United Kingdom marketing authorisation in respect of that product. COUNT 5 Conspiracy to evade the prohibition on the unauthorised use of a trade mark in relation to goods, contrary to section 92 (1) of the Trade Marks Act 1994 and section 1(1) of the Criminal Law Act 1977. Between 1 January 2002 and 12 October 2005 conspired together with ASHISH HALAI and with other persons known and unknown to offer or expose for sale goods, namely medicinal products, which bore, or the packaging of which bore, the manufacturer‘s trademark sign ―Propecia‖ and with a view to gain for themselves or others, or with intent to cause loss to another, and without the consent of the proprietor COUNT 6 Conspiracy to place a medicinal product on the market contrary to Schedule 3(1) of the Medicines for Human Use (Marketing Authorisations etc.) Regulations 1994 and section 1(1) of the Criminal Law Act 1977. Between 1 January 2002 and 12 October 2005 conspired together with ASHISH HALAI and with other persons known and unknown to place a relevant medicinal product, namely Finasteride in tablet form, on the market without holding a Community or United Kingdom marketing authorisation in respect of that product. COUNT 7 Conspiracy to evade the prohibition on wholesale dealing, contrary to section 8 (3) (a) and section 45(1) of the Medicines Act 1968 and section 1(1) of the Criminal Law Act 1977 Between 1 January 2002 and 12 October 2005 in the course of a business conspired together with ASHISH HALAI and with other persons known and unknown to sell, or offer to sell, a medicinal product, namely a quantity of Sildenafil Citrate in tablet form, except than in accordance with a wholesale dealer‘s licence. COUNT 8 Conspiracy to evade the prohibition on wholesale dealing contrary, to section 8 (3) (a) and section 45(1) of the Medicines Act 1968 and section 1(1) of the Criminal Law Act 1977 Between 1 January 2002 and 12 October 2005 in the course of a business conspired together with ASHISH HALAI and with other persons known and unknown to sell, or offer to sell, a medicinal product, namely a quantity of Tadalafil in tablet form, except than in accordance with a wholesale dealer‘s licence. COUNT 9 Conspiracy to evade the prohibition on wholesale dealing, contrary to section 8 (3) (a) and section 45(1) of the Medicines Act 1968 and section 1(1) of the Criminal Law Act 1977 Between 1 January 2002 and 12 October 2005 in the course of a business conspired together with ASHISH HALAI and with other persons known and unknown to sell, or offer to sell, a medicinal
product, namely a quantity of Finasteride in tablet form, except than in accordance with a wholesale dealer‘s licence. COUNT 10 Concealing, disguising, converting, transferring or removing the proceeds of criminal conduct, contrary to section 93C of the Criminal Justice Act 1988 Between 1 January 2002 and 24 February 2003 knowing or having reasonable grounds to suspect that property, in whole or in part, represented the proceeds of his criminal conduct did conceal, disguise, covert, transfer or remove such property from the jurisdiction for the purpose of avoiding prosecution for an offence to which this Part of this Act applies or the making or enforcement in his case of a confiscation order. COUNT 11 Concealing, disguising, converting, transferring or removing the proceeds of criminal conduct, contrary to section 327 of the Proceeds of Crime Act 2002 Between 25 February 2003 and 21 March 2006 knowing or suspecting that property, in whole or in part, represented the proceeds of his criminal conduct did conceal, disguise, convert, transfer or remove criminal property from England and Wales. Annex B Defendants - background Ashish HALAI 33 years old [dob: 13 July 1974]. A Kenyan citizen, he settled in this country with his family when much younger. He was the lynchpin of the British arm of the conspiracy and came to the attention of the MHRA in July 2005. From his business base in North London, he and the co-conspirators used a variety of companies, both actual and bogus, including Stormgrand Ltd, as fronts to distribute vast quantities of counterfeit medicines in the UK and abroad. HALAI travelled the world in search of suppliers and buyers. He ensured that the conspiracy ran smoothly in the UK. Gary HAYWOOD is 59 years old [dob:16 March 1948] like Mr HALAI was a pivotal conspirator. He promoted himself as a qualified pharmacist with extensive experience in the pharmaceutical industry. One of his many bogus claims was that he had been a prominent Pfizer employee. He like Mr HALAI used a variety of company names to cover his tracks. Mr HAYWOOD used off-shore bank accounts to hide his money. He also used forged documents to further the conspiracy. He was the intermediary who dealt with the counterfeiters abroad and in particular a counterfeiter based in China who readily supplied ―made to order‖ fakes which would then be smuggled into the UK. The contents of these parcels would be disguised using false descriptions e.g. ―sample C&E vitamins‖ ―Sample of fishprotein‖ ―calcium for kids‖ and ―Sample of Protein for Dogs‖- so as not to attract attention by the authorities. In this way over some 6 months HAYWOOD smuggled into UK about 500,000 fake Viagra tabs. In July 2003, MHRA officers seized over 120,000 fake Viagra tabs including packing material, fake product leaflets etc. Mr HAYWOOD left the country before MHRA investigators could interview him, a warrant for his arrest was issued and he was arrested at Heathrow airport in March 2006 disembarking from a flight from Singapore. He has since remained in custody. Ashwin PATEL 25 years old [dob: 01 March 1982] is the youngest of the conspirators and HALAI is his brother-in-law in what is considered to be a close knit family. PATEL became HALAI‘s ―right-hand‖ man and was a trusted member of the conspiracy. Mr Ashwin PATEL was instrumental with others in the supply of counterfeit Cialis through a company named IMPERAZO Zahid MAHMOOD MIRZA, 46 years old [dob14 August 1960] is based in Pakistan. Mr MIRZA was a key player in the supply of counterfeit Viagra from Pakistan and through a bogus UK company fake Cialis in the UK. He was the sole Director of a UK company named IMPERAZO;
the only real trade it did was in counterfeit medicine. Mr MIRZA is also linked to foreign companies that have been involved in the sale of counterfeit Viagra in the UK.
Assisted Conception Policy NHS Eligibility Criteria for assisted conception services (excluding In vitro fertilisation (IVF) Intracytoplasmic sperm injection (ICSI) treatment) for people with infertility in Nottinghamshire County. February 2011 Although Primary Care Trusts (PCTs) and East Midlands Specialised Commissioning Group (EMSCG) were abolished at the end of March 2013 with the formation of 5 Nottinghamshire County wide clinical Commissioning Groups (CCGs) policies that were in place prior to 1 April 2013 remain in place to ensure a consistent approach. The NHS Nottingham North & East Clinical Commissioning Group have adopted this policy, in its existing form, at a meeting of its Governing Body on 20 August 2013. This policy sets the overall parameters within which care will be delivered.
Froum.qxd 1/23/06 10:57 AM Page 71 A Retrospective Study of 1,925 Consecutively Placed Immediate Implants From 1988 to 2004 Barry Wagenberg, DMD1/Stuart J. Froum, DDS2 Purpose: The purpose of the present study was to evaluate implant survival rates with immediateimplant placement (IIP) into fresh extraction sockets and to determine risk factors for implant failure.Materials and Methods: A retrospective chart review was conducted of all patients in whom IIP wasperformed between January 1988 and December 31, 2004. Treatment required atraumatic toothextraction, IIP, and mineralized freeze-dried bone allograft with an absorbable barrier to cover exposedimplant threads. Implant failure was documented along with time of failure, age, gender, medical his-tory, medications taken, postsurgical antibiotic usage, site of implant placement, and reason forimplant failure. Statistical analysis was performed using chi-square and logistic regression analysismethods. Results: A total of 1,925 IIPs (1,398 machined-surface and 527 rough-surface implants)occurred in 891 patients. Seventy-one implants failed to achieve integration; a total of 77 implantswere lost in 68 patients. The overall implant survival rate was 96.0% with a failure rate of 3.7% pre-restoration and 0.3% postrestoration. Machined-surface implants were twice as likely to fail as rough-surface implants (4.6% versus 2.3%). Men were 1.65 times more likely to experience implant failure.Implants placed in sites where teeth were removed for periodontal reasons were 2.3 times more likelyto fail than implants placed in other sites. Patients unable to utilize postsurgical amoxicillin were 3.34times as likely to experience implant failure as patients who received amoxicillin. Conclusions: With a1- to 16-year survival rate of 96%, IIP following tooth extraction may be considered to be a predictableprocedure. Factors such as the ability to use postsurgical amoxicillin and reason for tooth extractionshould be considered when treatment planning for IIP. INT J ORAL MAXILLOFAC IMPLANTS 2006;21:71–80