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Customs Organization To Sign Declaration Against Counterfeit Drugs

The World Customs Organization (WCO) will sign a declaration to fight the $200-billion-a-year counterfeit drug industry, Reuters reports.

“Fake medicines often contain the wrong or toxic ingredients and pose a growing health threat worldwide, especially in poor countries where drugs are sold to treat conditions such as malaria, tuberculosis and HIV,” the article states.  According to the World Trade Organization, “fake anti-malaria drugs kill 100,000 Africans a year and the black market deprives governments of 2.5 – 5 percent of their revenue,” Reuters reports.

The declaration will be signed June 24 and will “ban the making and marketing of counterfeit drugs.” WCO’s Christophe Zimmerman said he hopes the declaration will “lend legitimacy to proposals to revamp obsolete legislation and improve coordination between enforcement agencies” (Irish, 6/10).