All websites illegally offering medical products not controlled by state authorities should be shut down immediately, according to the World Medical Association.
In a new policy document agreed at its annual General Assembly, the WMA warns that the shortage of medicines during the Covid-19 pandemic has led to the growth of fake and sub-standard medical products.
It sets out a series of proposals to tackle problems of availability, quality and safety of medicines. It calls for international prevention campaigns on the health risks of buying and using counterfeit drugs, and better detection of falsified medical products. It says national medical associations should actively oppose the illegal misappropriation of medicines, the illegal sales of medicines on the internet, the illegal importing of medicines and the counterfeiting of medicines. And it wants to see regulations to immediately close all websites illegally offering medical products not controlled by state authorities.
WMA President Dr. Heidi Stensmyren said: ‘The quality of medicines is a public health priority and a shortage of medicines is detrimental to patient care. We want to see standards and mechanisms established guaranteeing the continuity and the supply of medicines to avoid shortages. We must help to promote transparency and quality of information to regain patients’ trust.
‘Clearly the growing culture of inappropriate self-diagnosis, self-prescription and self-medication can leave the drug supply chain vulnerable to unapproved or counterfeit products. What is needed now is improved monitoring, to enforce good distribution practices for medical products’.
Source: World Medical Association