One after another, non-profit organizations, government agencies and private entities express their desire to battle against the proliferation of fraud medicines through extending solid campaigning goals and advertising.
Before the end of 2015, all attention was turned to the latest addition to the proud pack of advocates. The global innovative and generic/biosimilar pharmaceutical industries welcome the entry into force of the Medicrime Convention and encourage countries worldwide to sign and ratify it. A lot of NGOs including the Peterson Group have already signed up with what claims to be as the first unique international tool criminalizing the trade of counterfeit medicines. It was already ratified last January 1, 2016 and is headed by the European Council, one of the most active agencies in obliterating counterfeit medicines.
According to the review of its functions, it is open to all countries of the world and has in fact been recruiting to as far as the Asia-Pacific countries including Indonesia, Singapore and Malaysia. TPG is yet to confirm from Jakarta and Kuala Lumpur regarding the matter while Singapore states that the country is highly likely to support the good cause.
The Convention offers a framework for international co-operation and measures to improve co-ordination at national level. In particular, it provides for the setting up of contact points within national judicial systems, health systems, accredited medical laboratories, law enforcement and customs authorities to ensure the rapid exchange of information.
Albeit the good intention however, many critics say it is still early to assess of whether Medicrime can take the burden it now bears. There are also complaints and issues along the way. For instance, Medicrime convention focuses on protecting public health but intellectual property rights are not covered.
However, Holger Hestermeyer, a researcher at the Max Planck Institute for Comparative Public Law and International Law in Heidelberg, Germany says that an overlap with trademark issue is still a possibility.
“The trademark issue came in with the second definition for counterfeit which was ‘false representation as regards source’ where source should, according to the explanatory report to the convention, be understood in a ‘wide sense’, as well as the term ‘counterfeit’ itself which is used by the WTO with respect to trademark infringement”, Hestermeyer says.
Despite the current issue, many people is still optimistic on the success of MEDICRIME in minimizing, if not obliterating drug counterfeiting from the current problems of the world.