The Minister of Labour, Employment, and Health alongside the Minister of Budget, Public Accounts, and State Reform – who is equally the spokesman for the French government, have presented a plan against counterfeiting health products.
While the traffic of falsified medicines is clearly a scourge in many developing countries, this does not mean that Europe has been spared. European traffic is mainly the result of Internet sales.
The WHO estimates that nearly 10% of the global market of falsified medicines comes from counterfeiting. France is less affected than other countries by this traffic, due to the regulation of its drug market, the distribution of medical products by health professionals, and its welfare system in terms of health care costs. Trafficking counterfeit health products nevertheless continues to represent a “health threat and a real public health problem in developing countries” and “counterfeiting is also an economic threat, a source of unfair competition, and it constitutes a loss of resources dedicated to research and development,” according to a press release issued by the government.
In fact, the Ministry of Health has adopted several measures to fight more effectively against falsified medicines:
• creating a central database of thefts, misappropriation, and trafficking of pharmaceutical products;
• creating joint investigation teams and implementing joint controls by the police and customs;
• supporting programs that enhance the security of the distribution channels of pharmaceutical products, particularly in developing countries;
• programs to raise consumer awareness of risks.