Contemporary conflicts have become more complex, increasingly fragmented and intractable, with many interrelated elements that raise serious implications to the international, regional and local communities to move beyond challenges. Transnational forces of violent extremism and organized crime profit from these fragile environments to build on their capacities and finance their sources. One such way is the increased flow of counterfeit medication as a lucrative source of income.
Still too often overlooked and unclear, the links between Counterfeit Medicine and organized crime groups need policy makers, law enforcers, pharmaceutics and rights holders to become fully aware of the short and long-term consequences of this interrelation in order to develop preventive methods to counter the proliferation of this phenomenon. According to the World Health Organization (WHO), counterfeit medicine accounts for nearly 10% of readily available medicament, which represented a loss of approximately $75 billion to $600 billion between 2010 and 2015 from the pharmaceutical industry.
According to the World Health Organization (WHO), counterfeit medicine accounts for nearly 10% of readily available medicaments.
It is also predicted that certain laboratories would lose roughly 70% of their incomes in Africa due to this phenomenon, which could automatically increase the price of medicaments, directly affecting consumers. In this front, more particularly, counterfeits medicine represents a real threat to consumer’s health and safety. As a number of empirical researches states, one in three consumers worldwide suffer from disorders related to fraudulent medicaments. Developing countries that are already challenged with combating high rates of infectious diseases, such as malaria, tuberculosis, and HIV, face even greater difficulties when their medicaments have missing levels of ingredients. Moreover, in addition to economic and social loses, the phenomenon of counterfeiting destroy jobs, preventing the pharmaceutical industry from growing.
Considering the enormous loss in sales, the amount of people affected, combined with the amount of money these illegal manufacturers and terrorist groups are making, counterfeit medicine represents a serious problem that transcends law enforcement and that has huge deteriorating impacts. While the international community has recently recognized this issue, an effective and comprehensive solution has yet to be proposed or enacted.
Responding to the evolving problem of Counterfeit Medicine and recognizing its spiral effects worldwide, the Brussels International Center for Research and Human Rights (BIC-RHR) will place this issue at the heart of its strategic development, proposing the following lines of work:
A proactive Task-Force and research team with a thorough knowledge of the context investigated.
A constantly updated database.
An advocacy team strategically located at the European Parliament.
The main goal is to understand, gather data and analyze the particularities of Counterfeit Medicine in each context. From these analyses, while also understanding in a comprehensive manner the links between terrorism and Counterfeit Medicine, the BIC-RHR will propose the development of preventive mechanisms to tackle the issue, with an accompanying and constantly updated database.
In this way, the BIC-RHR research team will exercise its geostrategic analysis, context knowledge and contacts in the MENA region and certain Sub-Saharan African countries.
While the international community has recently recognized this issue, an effective and comprehensive solution has yet to be proposed or enacted.