WHO Working Group On Substandard Medicine To Meet This Week

Members of the WHO “are meeting this week to advance the international mechanism against substandard and counterfeit medicines,” Intellectual Property Watch reports. Meeting documents, for the “Open-ended Working Group to Identify the Actions, Activities and Behaviours that result in substandard/spurious/falsely-labeled/falsified/counterfeit (SSFFC) medical products,” including the draft agenda and a report by the secretariat, are available on the WHO website, the news service notes. “The SSFFC issue has historically been sensitive among member states, making agreement difficult,” Intellectual Property Watch writes, noting, “All countries seek to prevent these types of medicines in their markets, but some have been concerned that measures taken not interfere with the flow of legitimate and affordable generic versions of the more expensive brand-name drugs.” According to the news service, the working group this year “is expected to move forward on: establishing the working group on the actions, activities, and behaviors that result in SSFFC medical products; convening a technical consultation on the work plan; and a steering committee meeting” (New, 7/22).