While the WCO’s Secretary General, Kunio Mikuriya, applauded the operation, he also underlined that the seizure in 23 African ports “gives a chilling idea of the scourge that the traffic of falsified medicines represents for this continent.” The monetary value of the seized goods provides further evidence that the traffic of falsified medicines is a new form of international organized crime that poses serious threats to global health and safety. President Chirac has denounced this threat for many years now. His convictions led him to initiate the Cotonou Declaration against falsified drugs on October 12, 2009, a call that currently bears the signature of 51 Heads of State and Government.
The traffic of falsified medicines kills daily. Fighting this scourge requires the implementation of coercive legislative instruments to penalize and punish the manufacture and traffic of falsified goods. This is why President Chirac, through his Fondation, acted to support the ratification of the Council of Europe’s Medicrime Convention of October 28, 2011, which allows acceding States to equip themselves with a reference tools in terms of the regulation and penalisation of trafficking. The Medicrime Convention currently has 22 signatories, Ukraine is the only state to have ratified it. Its entry into force requires 5 ratifications.
Falsified medicines (a drug with insufficient or no active ingredients or one containing toxic ingredients) kill an estimated 200,000 people each year, mainly in West Africa.
* Algeria, Angola, Benin, Cameroon, Congo, Democratic Republic of Congo, Djibouti, Gabon, Gambia, Ghana, Guinea, Ivory Coast, Kenya, Madagascar, Mauritius, Morocco, Mozambique, Namibia, Nigeria, Senegal, South Africa, Tanzania and Togo.