The Russian Federation’s Ministry of Health organized the official ceremony opening the Convention for signature in Moscow from October 26 to 28, 2011. At the ceremony, 12 States: Austria, Cyprus, Finland, France, Germany, Iceland, Italy, Israel, Portugal, Russia, Switzerland, and Ukraine, all signed the MEDICRIME Convention. “This is a good omen for the ratification and the rapid entry into force of this convention,” stated Claude Debrulle, former president of the group that authored the text (Read the Convention MEDICRIME (pdf)). Indeed, five ratifications are necessary for the entry into force of the Convention; three of which must come from members of the Council of Europe.
The agreement protects public health and is the first tool to fight traffickers of falsified medicines. A tool the Fondation Chirac salutes, hoping it takes effect quickly. This is the only international legal instrument criminalizing, at the penal level, the manufacturing and distribution of counterfeit medical products. Today, “this serious crime is also a lucrative and relatively safe crime; because penalties vary from state to state and are often laughable when they actually do exist. Which multiplies locations of utter impunity – what I call ‘drug havens‘ ” states Claude Debrulle.
Claude Debrulle, Honorary Director General of the Belgian Ministry of Justice and Member of Scientific Committee of the Fondation Chirac, outlines the challenges and strengths of MEDICRIME in an interview with the Fondation Chirac (available here).
Adopted December 8, 2010 by the Committee of Ministers of the Council of Europe, MEDICRIME opened on October 26, 2011, for signature by the 47 states of the Council of Europe as well as third party countries.