Work package no.5: Improving international and regional cooperation around identifying and combating trafficking of substandard and falsified medical products.
As part of the MEDISAFE project, a regional conference was organized on transnational organized crime related to falsified and substandard medicines and medicinal products in collaboration with the Eastern Africa Police Chiefs Cooperation Organization (EAPCCO) Secretariat East Africa. The conference took place 26-28 September 2022 in Dar es Salaam, Tanzania, and brought together 10 MEDISAFE partner countries.
The main objective of the conference was to inform governments about the link between trafficking of falsified and substandard medicines and medicinal products and transnational organized crime. The aim was also to present effective responses to crimes of this kind.
Ten MEDISAFE partner countries were represented through their Ministries of Interior (or Internal Security), Ministries of Justice and law enforcement sectors: Burundi, DRC, Ethiopia, Ghana, Kenya, Malawi, Rwanda, Seychelles, Tanzania (and Zanzibar) and Uganda. Over the course of three days, partner countries shared their experiences in the regulation and control of medical products, good practices identified and challenges they face both nationally and regionally.
The following were in attendance: Manfredo FANTI (European Union Ambassador to Tanzania), Gedion KIMILU (Director of Interpol East Africa/EAPCCO Regional Bureau), Agatha KATUA (Brigadier General of the Ministry of Defense and Delegate Member of the CBRN/MEDISAFE National Focal Point in Tanzania), and representatives from WHO, Interpol, UNODC, UNICRI, GITOC and ENACT.
Recommendations were made during the meeting, which focused primarily on encouraging countries to engage in multisectoral collaboration to combat the threat to public health posed by falsified and substandard medicines. International organizations pledged to cooperate with and continue to support countries in building the capacity of their regulatory and law enforcement authorities.
The conference provided an opportunity to bring together a wide range of actors with diverse profiles to jointly address the complex issue of transnational organized crime in relation to falsified and substandard medicines and medicinal products.
Other regional events are planned for 2023 to strengthen international cooperation on this theme and on supply chain security for medicines and health products.