(CoE / Red) – The Council of Europe MEDICRIME Convention will be presented at the Paris Peace Forum which will take place online from 11 to 13 November. The main message to the Forum is that countries worldwide should take action using the only binding international instrument in this field to combat the falsification of medical products and protect public health, especially in the context of the COVID-19 pandemic.
Organised criminal networks control both the production and trade of falsified medical products and similar crimes. Due to the ever-growing increase of these falsified medical products and similar crimes in the supply chain by unscrupulous criminal organised groups operating across borders, combined with the low risk level of deterrence, there is an urgent need to harmonise legislation and put in place dissuasive penalties proportional to the harm suffered by victims. Sustained commitment and efforts from national governments and other stakeholders are therefore required to overcome this concern.
A solid coalition between all actors involved (the judiciary, professionals and law-enforcement authorities) employing cross-sector cooperation is the only way to counter this scourge. In a similar way, a multidisciplinary and multi-sectoral approach should be used among competent authorities at national and international level in order to successfully combat such crimes.
When joining the Convention, governments are assisted in obtaining the right tools, restoring confidence and trust in health care. The MEDICRIME Convention is a unique tool to achieve real global governance of public health. The MEDICRIME Convention is the only binding international instrument in the criminal law field on counterfeiting of medical products and similar crimes involving threats to public health. It provides for the criminalisation of certain acts, protects the rights of victims and promotes national and international co-operation.
Since it entered into force in 2016, 18 countries have ratified the Convention (three of which are African countries) and another 17 States from all over the world are signatories or their signature is under the procedure.