Pinning down groups responsible for the production, importation, exportation and distribution of counterfeit medicines
is challenging enough. It takes precise tactic and strategy to capture them red-handed on their craft but people like these are trained with uncanny ability to avoid the law, even if it sometimes lead to bloodshed. Those action movies where the thugs hold guns can also happen in real life.
What is more challenging is how to create awareness without causing panic or inform the public that the dangers are real. Combatants of counterfeit medicines are not only facing challenges against wrongdoers, it is also included in the job description to be transparent in whatever findings that can contribute to the obliteration of this illegal practice even when it is very risky and crucial for the public to understand the current situation. Blurting out the fact that 10% of medicines circulating across legitimate pharmacies are fraud is enough to cause pandemonium and can affect health care economy. This is one of the reasons why both the government and pharmaceutical manufacturers choose not to conduct full disclosure of information to the public. They may not take it cautiously.
Keeping these warnings to mind, different organizations have also made their approach diligently and carefully.
International associations such as the United Nations Office on Drugs and Crime (UNODC) has continuously launched their campaign through the launch of their online brochures entitled “Focus On: Illicit Trafficking Of Counterfeit Goods And Transnational Organized Crime”.
Unsurprisingly, there are more than thousands of supporters as the brochure was launched last 2014. In fact, UNODC has been presented with 2014 Global Anti-Counterfeiting Award as since its launch, the campaign has enjoyed its significant exposure. Spanning across the globe and spanning as far as Cambodia, Indonesia
and Malaysia in Asia, Argentina in South America, the campaign has been broadcasted more than 10,000 times over and has been headlined in JakartaPost, Guardian and Reuters among others.
Other significant campaigns include those which may not be at par with the recognition garnered by UNODC but has still been able to contribute in gaining attention.
Sanofi and Pfizer, two of the world’s leading drug manufacturers have created their own brochures introducing fundamentals in drug counterfeiting. Both companies also mentions different programs available for further information. Information website, The Peterson Group has also joined the awareness program through a campaign
led by World Health Organization (WHO). The campaign is set to focus on Asia-Pacific.