Strasbourg 24 October 2023
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The Republic of Slovakia signs the MEDICRIME Convention

Today, The Slovak Republic has signed the MEDICRIME Convention.

In total, there are 23 Parties to the Convention and another 19 are signatories. The Slovak Republic is the 14th European country having signed the MEDICRIME Convention.


Advice on the application of the MEDICRIME Convention in the context of COVID-19

The Committee of the Parties of the MEDICRIME Convention advises that the Coronavirus disease (COVID-19) pandemic has created extraordinary challenges for the authorities of all member States of the Council of Europe and other countries. There are specific and intense challenges for staff working in various places. The protection of the public health systems and individual health rests not only with healthcare practitioners and health service providers, but with all those who contribute to the protection of public health from falsified medical products and similar crimes.

At a time when the Covid-19 epidemic is posing unprecedented challenges to the health sector, the Council of Europe calls on governments to be extremely vigilant against counterfeit or falsified medicines and medical products. Faced with this threat, states can rely on the MEDICRIME Convention to safeguard public health and target the criminal behaviour of those who, like criminal networks, take advantage of the loopholes in our systems and of the current crisis.

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"In recent years, occurrences of counterfeiting of medical products and similar crimes have increased worldwide. These crimes endanger public health, and affect patients and 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 networks find gaps in national legislations allowing them to make substantial profits at the expense of people’s lives and health. The MEDICRIME Convention was drafted to protect vulnerable patients and their right to safe access to medicines of appropriate quality, and to fight against organised crime. As the first and only international treaty dealing with this problem, the convention aims at prosecuting the counterfeiting of medical products and similar crimes, protecting the rights of victims and promoting national and international co-operation."

Gabriella Battaini-Dragoni
Deputy Secretary General of the Council of Europe