USP joins the Fight the Fakes campaign

December 10, 2013

The U.S. Pharmacopeial Convention recently joined a number of other global health organizations in the Fight the Fakes campaign to combat the growing problem of counterfeit and substandard medications.

The U.S. Pharmacopeial Convention (USP) recently joined a number of other global health organizations in the Fight the Fakes campaign to combat the growing problem of counterfeit and substandard medications.

According to the campaign, counterfeit and substandard medicines constitute a staggering $431 billion market, a 300% increase since 2000.

Additionally, an estimated 25% to 60% of the medicine supply in developing countries is either substandard or counterfeit, according to the World Health Organization.  Among the supporters of Fight the Fakes is the International Federation of Pharmaceutical Manufacturers and Associations, the World Medical Association, the International Council of Nurses, and, now, the USP.

“As a leader in the fight against counterfeit and substandard medicines, the USP is actively involved in a series of ongoing initiatives to help ensure the quality of medicines,” USP said in a statement.

One of USP’s counterfeit-fighting initiatives is its Promoting the Quality of Medicines (PQM) program, which provides technical leadership and builds local capacity to regulate and control the quality of medicines in developing countries. PQM also works to increase the supply of quality-assured medicines, combats the availability of substandard and counterfeit medicines, and advocates for worldwide quality standards.

In May, USP launched the Center for Pharmaceutical Advancement and Training in Accra, Ghana, to increase the number of experts and available tools to combat falsified, substandard, and counterfeit medications in Sub-Saharan Africa. “According to the PQM and Ghana FDA 2013 Post-Market Surveillance on Uteronics, 90% of key medicines used to treat postpartum hemorrhage in Ghana failed tests for quality,” USP said.

The USP has also spearheaded a campaign that resulted in a stark reduction in illegal pharmacies in Cambodia and the development of a quality control lab in Liberia, which is “leading the fight to prevent fake medicines from reaching their population,” USP said.