Counterfeiting of medicine and medical products has increased worldwide In recent years, endangering public health, affecting patients and sapping their confidence in the legal marketplace.

Even more profitable than drug trafficking, this new form of crime has an undeniable advantage for criminals: they go largely unpunished or receive only mild sanctions. Even when states take strict measures to regulate the production and distribution of medical products and devices, these measures often prove insufficient, especially when criminal find gaps in legislation, or are able to exploit international networks. This makes fake medicine and medical products a danger to health and to human rights.

The Council of Europe’s response is the MEDICRIME Convention which criminalises the manufacturing of counterfeit medical products; supplying, offering to supply and trafficking in counterfeit medical products; faking documents; the unauthorised manufacturing or supplying of medicinal products and the marketing of medical devices that do not comply with conformity requirements.

The Council of Europe supports member states in implementing the monitoring recommendations through technical cooperation and assistance.

Civil society can participate as observers within the MEDICRIME Committee.