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World Medical Association (WMA) calls for action on fake medicines

The World Medical Association wants all websites offering unregulated medical products to be shut down.

The association, which is an international and independent confederation of free professional medical associations representing physicians worldwide, believes that there should be stricter regulations imposed on businesses selling medical products.

In a new policy document agreed on at its annual general assembly, the WMA warns that the shortage of medicines during the Covid-19 pandemic has led to the growth of fake and substandard products.

It proposes action to tackle the problems of availability, quality and safety of medicines by calling for international prevention campaigns to raise awareness of the health risks of buying and using counterfeit drugs and how to identify fake medical products.

The WMA says medical associations of countries around the world should actively oppose  the illegal sales of medicines on the internet and the illegal importing of medicines and counterfeit medicines.

It wants all websites illegally offering medical products not controlled by state health authorities shut down as quickly as possible.

WMA President Dr Heidi Stensmyren said in a statement: “The quality of medicines is a public health priority and a shortage of medicines is detrimental to patient care. We want to see standards and mechanisms established guaranteeing the continuity and the supply of medicines to avoid shortages.”

She added: “The growing culture of inappropriate self-diagnosis, self-prescription and self-medication can leave the drug supply chain vulnerable to unapproved or counterfeit products. What is needed now is improved monitoring, to enforce good distribution practices for medical products.”

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By Gill Gifford TimesLIVE

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