|w Human Rights - Democracy|
|Directorate General of Social Cohesion
European Directorate for the Quality of Medicines & HealthCare (EDQM)
|Directorate General of Human Rights and Legal Affairs Criminal Law Division|
Access to quality medicines-safeguards from counterfeit medicines
The global nature of the Internet makes it an excellent way
to promote health. But it can also give misleading
information or be used to market harmful healthcare
products. There are countless illegal offers of medicines
via the Internet, many of them counterfeit. As a result of
these illegal offers, consumers may suffer serious damage to
their health, financial loss and be targeted by cybercrime.
The Council of Europe guarantees everyone’s fundamental right to access to information on health issues. It sets standards on creating a common democratic and legal area in Europe based on its fundamental values. In particular, it aims at combating counterfeit and illegal medicines and healthcare products including those offered on the web through fostering cooperation between member states and other states in criminal law matters.
The European Directorate for the Quality of Medicines & HealthCare (EDQM) contributes to the basic human right of access to good quality medicines and healthcare by inter alia elaborating quality standards for the manufacture and quality control of medicines in Europe (a European Pharmacopoeia comprising over 2,000 standards) and beyond; co-ordinating a network of about 100 official medicines control laboratories in 35 countries; working with national authorities and international organisations to combat illegal and counterfeit medicines; and providing policies and model approaches for the safe use of medicines in Europe, including guidelines on pharmaceutical care.
The Council of Europe is preparing an international binding treaty, a Council of Europe convention against counterfeiting of medical products and similar crimes involving threats to public health. The future treaty has a focus on public health protection and criminalises certain conducts and includes prevention measures. The text also envisages providing a framework for international co-operation, mutual assistance in criminal law, measures for co-ordination at national level, and protection of victims and witnesses. It is expected to be open for signature in 2010 after it is adopted by the Council of Europe Committee of Ministers. This convention could be open for participation by Council of Europe member states and also by governments of states in other regions of the world, giving the convention a universal vocation.
Both the Directorate General of Human Rights and Legal Affairs and the Directorate General on Social Cohesion (EDQM) have been involved in its preparation.
Expert CommitteesEuropean Committee on Pharmaceuticals and Pharmaceutical Care (CD-P-PH)