detecting and removing poor quality medicines that harm the most vulnerable patients and damage public health

Posted on 21 January 2017

Paris, France – January 20, 2017 – The World Customs Organization (WCO) and the International Institute for Research Against Counterfeit Medicines (IRACM) today announced the results of their fourth common initiative in the fight against fake medicines on the African continent. This is a new record seizure of 113 million* illicit and potentially dangerous pharmaceutical products, which took place in the context of Operation ACIM (Action against Counterfeit and Illicit Medicines) in September 2016. The number of seizures made in joint IRACM-WCO operations has now reached dramatic proportions, with almost 900 million counterfeit and illicit medicines seized at the borders of the continent.

Essential treatments make up for the bulk of fake pharmaceutical products

Data from the joint operations between the WCO and the IRACM show that the situation is worrying as regards to illicit goods in Africa. To tackle this issue, IRACM and WCO elected to continue their partnership and unite their forces by organizing a fourth field operation.

Operation ACIM mobilised 16 African customs administrations over a ten-day period, from 5 to 14 September 2016, to inspect simultaneously, in the main ports on the continent, cargoes identified as likely to contain illicit or counterfeit pharmaceutical products posing a dangerous threat to local populations.

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