On May 30, 2015, Guinea became the 5th country to ratify the Medicrime convention, thus allowing its application.
Adopted on december 8, 2010 by the Comittee of Ministers of the Council of Europe, the Medicrime convention is the first international treaty to criminalize and sanction the production, traffic, and sale of falsified medical products.
Though the Council of Europe and its 47 member States initiated the project, the European Union is also invited to participate in its elaboration, as well as non-member States with observer status with the Council of Europe: Israel, the Holy See, the United States of America, Canada, Japan, and Mexico..
The Medicrime convention, though written in Europe, aims to be an international tool with a global impact.
Six major advances of note:
- The Medicrime convention is the first binding international instrument in the criminal law field on counterfeiting of medical products and similar crimes involving threats to public health.
- It focuses on “the threat to Public Health” represented by falsified medical products (and not only infringement of intellectual and industrial property rights).
- The Medicrime convention includes medicine (for both human and veterinarian use) as well as medical products, brand name and generic
- It establishes, at the national and international level, a mechanism of coordination and collabboration between the different actors of the fight against falsified medicines.
The Medicrime convention provides for the establishment of a follow-up and evaluation system of the implementation of the convention
It is open to all 47 member States of the Council of Europe as well as to non-members of the Council.
La Medicrime convention has established as offences the manufacturing, the supplying, the offer to supply, and the traffic of counterfeit medical products; the falsification of documents; and the un-authorised manufacturing or supplying of medicinal products and the marketing of medical devices that do not comply with conformity requirements.
According to the International Federation of Pharmaceutical Manufacturers & Associations (IFPMA), the Medicrime convention constitutes “a landmark tool to curb global medicines counterfeiting”.
As it enters into force, 26 States have signed the Convention, of which 3 are members of the Council of Europe, and 5 have ratifie dit: 4 European countries (Ukraine, Hungary, Moldavia, Spain) and 1 non-member country, Guinea.
The application of the Medicrime convention constitutes a great advance in the fight against the traffic of falsified medical products. However, for optimal impact, it must be signed and ratified by a maximum number of States. Too few have decided to commit for the moment: 26 States have signed the Convention whereas 115 countries took part in Interpol’s PANGEA VIII operation.
The battle against falsified medical products must not be limited to occasional police operations, regardless of how effective and useful they may be. Long term action is required to end the spread of this scourge that threatens the health and safety of populations on all 5 continents. The Medicrime convention is part of the solution and must be defended without fail.