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United Russia calls for banning Internet trade in medicines

October 26, 2011, 13:19 UTC+3

All the leading pharmaceutical states – encounter problems of poor quality and falsified medicines

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MOSCOW, October 26 (Itar-Tass) — First deputy head of the United Russia faction at the State Duma lower house of the Russian parliament Tatyana Yakovleva called on Wednesday for banning Internet trade in medicines.

Yakovleva, who is a member of the house committee on protection of health said at the international conference "The Council of Europe Convention on Counterfeiting of Medical products and Similar Crimes involving Threats to Public Health (Medicine Convention) that "not only Russia, but also European countries, Japan and the USA – all the leading pharmaceutical states – encounter problems of poor quality and falsified medicines." The risk of the appearance of illegal products increases in proportion to the growth of the pharmaceutical market," Yakovleva said.

"Sales of fake medicines through the Internet pose the greatest danger as they attract the criminals with the possibility to remain anonymous. The level of falsification in this market segment is quite high. The volume of e-trade in medicines, including cross-border trade, has been growing.

"It is not yet possible to limit this form of trade at the legislative level. Even if one country severely limits Internet trade in medicines, and introduces harsh administrative or criminal sanctions against the violators, the problem cannot be fully resolved, as Internet portals are opened in neighboring countries and, given relative affordability and simplicity of logistics opportunities, it is no problem to deliver medicines to the client living a thousand kilometers away.

"One of the measures we propose to implement at the inter-state level is to counteract the development of Internet trade in medicines. Medicines should be stored in a special way. Secondly, they must be sold by specialists only, who can give details on their use.

"To resolve the problem of counterfeiting at the international level, it is necessary for all the interested persons to have access to the single database of fakes, which will become the main source of information for pharmaceutical companies.

"It is also necessary to obligate all the pharmaceutical companies to provide information about the detection of fakes to law-enforcement bodies. Also, we have to arrange studies into the effectiveness of the measures to combat the counterfeiting of medicines, which will enable us to further perfect the system of protection of the pharmaceutical market from fakes," Yakovleva said.


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