Bucharest, 18 March 2014. Falsified medicines are a serious and complex problem that poses a great danger to patients and citizens at large. Creating a strategy to effectively counter this threat requires the combination of several elements as well as the involvement of different stakeholders. In particular, public-private partnerships and related cooperation mechanisms have the potential to play a pivotal role in supporting the efforts of both governments and private sector to reduce the extension and impact of this phenomenon.
Based on these assumptions, and building on the successful experiences already in place in some countries (such as in Italy and the United Kingdom), UNICRI supported the creation of a public-private stakeholder group in Romania to combat falsified medicines. The Italian Medicines Agency (AIFA) and the UK Medicines and Healthcare Products Regulatory Authority (MHRA) actively cooperated in the project and contributed to its success.
On 18 March 2014, the Romanian National Authorities signed an operational protocol formally establishing the stakeholders’ group against falsified medicines and officially initiating its activities. The following public and private actors participate in the group: the Public Ministry, the Internal Affairs Ministry, the National Tax Administration Agency, the National Medicines and Medical Devices Agency, the Romanian Intelligence Service, the National Veterinary and Sanitary Authority for Food Safety, the Romanian Association of International Medicines Manufacturers, the Romanian Generic Medicines Manufacturers Association. For the occasion, UNICRI, in cooperation with the Romanian National Authorities, AIFA and the MHRA, organized an event in Bucharest to present the newly established stakeholders’ group.
Acknowledging the difficulty of developing such cooperation mechanisms, and thanks to the experience acquired throughout the implementation of its programme against counterfeiting, UNICRI prepared a set of guidelines aimed at supporting private and public stakeholders committed to establishing effective cooperation mechanisms against falsified medicines.
These activities have been implemented within the framework of the SAVEmed project, funded by the European Union under the Seventh Framework Programme.
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