254017 Public Health Threat of Counterfeit Medicines

Monday, October 31, 2011: 9:00 AM

Amir Attaran, PhD , Ottawa, Ontario, Canada
PROBLEM STATEMENT: The trade in falsified Medicines is increasing, as countries increasingly turn to global trade to procure medicines (the US imports 80% of its medicinal ingredients). Falsified medicines are the cause of iatrogenic epidemics that in many instances have killed, but astonishingly, today medicine falsification is legal in international criminal law, meaning that the perpetrators often go free. Except for certain intellectual property offenses, which fail to capture the moral evil of the public health crime, there is no prohibition in international criminal law against falsifying a medicine, the way that there is a prohibition against falsifying money (a 1929 treaty criminalized money counterfeiting). This unsatisfactory legal omission leaves the world's medicine supply at great risk, particularly the generic medicines, which are the mainstay of treatment for billions of people. This presentation will describe the legal doctrines upon which a future treaty against falsified medicine could be conceived and elements of its design, drawing upon the precedent of the Framework Convention on Tobacco Control and other treaties.

Learning Areas:
Provision of health care to the public
Public health administration or related administration

Learning Objectives:
Describe current issues concerning counterfeit medicines. Describe what public health workers can do to address these issues.

Presenting author's disclosure statement:

Qualified on the content I am responsible for because: tba
Any relevant financial relationships? No

I agree to comply with the American Public Health Association Conflict of Interest and Commercial Support Guidelines, and to disclose to the participants any off-label or experimental uses of a commercial product or service discussed in my presentation.