A new approach to fake medicines has been launched in Southeast Asia by the EU’s IP Key Southeast Asia program.
IP Key is an EU funded IP program across Southeast Asia. They will run a social media campaign to raise awareness of fake medicines in the region. They are using the hashtag #yourhealthispriceless. IP Key announced that “in the vast majority of cases (90 per cent), [of counterfeit medicines] can be harmful to a patient’s health.”
The EU has conducted extensive research with the EUIPO and OECD on fake medicines. Thailand was identified in 2019 UN Office on Drugs and Crime research as a transit point for fake medicines; as well as Philippines, Indonesia, and Vietnam. The program is coordinated with ASEAN and national governments. Laurent Lourdais, counsellor to the EU mission in Thailand announced: “Harmonized pan-ASEAN safety and control measures allowing easier identification of counterfeit medicines, and improving verification and controls at borders, as well as a system enabling patients to identify legally operating online pharmacies, would certainly help limiting the commerce of these dangerous products.”