WMA calls for international prevention campaigns against fake drugs

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Medical doctors under the aegis of the World Medical Association (WMA) have called for international prevention campaigns on the health risks of buying and using counterfeit drugs.

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This was stated In a new policy document released at its annual General Assembly, WMA said the call had become imperative, warning that the shortage of medicines during the COVID-19 pandemic had led to the growth of fake and sub-standard medical products.

WMA is the independent confederation of national medical associations with 115 constituent members representing more than ten million physicians.

Acting on behalf of patients and physicians, the WMA endeavours to achieve the highest possible standards of medical care, ethics, education and health-related human rights for all people.

WMA Secretary-General, Dr. Otmar Kloiber, and Public Relations Consultant, Nigel Duncan stressed the need for better detection of falsified medical products, the association said it had set out a series of proposals to tackle problems of availability, quality and safety of medicines.

According to the WMA, national medical associations should actively oppose the illegal misappropriation of medicines, the illegal sales of medicines on the internet, the illegal importing of medicines and the counterfeiting of medicines.

The association called for the immediate closure of all websites illegally offering medical products not controlled by state authorities.

WMA President, Dr. Heidi Stensmyren in the statement said, “The quality of medicines is a public health priority and a shortage of medicines is detrimental to patient care.

“We want to see standards and mechanisms established guaranteeing the continuity and the supply of medicines to avoid shortages.

“We must help to promote transparency and quality of information to regain patients’ trust.”

Stensmyren said the sale of fake medicines and self-medication must not be left unchecked, citing its health implications.

Clearly the growing culture of inappropriate self-diagnosis, self-prescription and self-medication can leave the drug supply chain vulnerable to unapproved or counterfeit products.

“What is needed now is improved monitoring, to enforce good distribution practices for medical products,” Stensmyren said.

MTO/Punch

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