According to WHO research, around 10.5% of all medicines used in low- and middle-income countries, including Ukraine, are counterfeit. Both completely counterfeit medicines and genuine medicines for which counterfeiters change the expiration date or dosage are counterfeited medicines. In this way, patients can receive both counterfeits without the active substance, expired or spoiled medicines, diluted medicines, medicines with a significantly lower dosage. Moreover, such medicines are stored and transported without any control over the observance of appropriate conditions. Therefore, all counterfeit medicines have one thing in common – they are a threat to human health and life.
The solution to the problem for Ukraine should be systematic and requires such measures as:
- significant update of the legislation on falsification and full-scale implementation of the provisions of the MEDICRIME Convention;
- introduction of verification/serialization system according to the European model, which will allow to verify the authenticity of medicines at all stages from the manufacturer to the pharmacy or hospital;
- introduction of a systemic state policy to combat counterfeiting and illicit medicines trafficking;
- international cooperation, as well as coordination of actions of law enforcement and controlling bodies of Ukraine;
- proper investigation and punishment of perpetrators of medicines smuggling and falsification.