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Published on 9 June 2008

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Industry calls for tougher action on counterfeiters

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Members of the pharmaceutical industry have responded to EU proposals for tackling the problem posed by counterfeit medicines.

The results of the survey indicate that many organisations believe the European Commission’s blueprint does not go far enough, with several calling for tougher penalties for illegal drugs companies.

Some 100 organisations responded – from large pharmaceutical firms to small patient groups, and from manufacturers to importers.

The website in-PharmaTechnologist.com carried out an initial analysis of the results and found that some very similar responses were received from different bodies.

It said that out of all the big drugs manufacturing firms, Pfizer had been the hardest hit by the trade in illegitimate pharmaceuticals, “with Viagra a favourite of counterfeiters”.

In its response, Pfizer said it broadly supported the proposals, but highlighted the need for the industry to deal with the problem of internet sales.

Other companies said they supported the EU’s goals but thought some of the proposals regarding active pharmaceutical ingredients (APIs) were “too vague”. Suggestions for tackling counterfeit APIs included mandatory GMP (Good Manufacturing Practice) certification, worldwide inspections and tougher penalties.

Copyright © PA Business 2008

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