Row flares over global fight against fake medicine
Given the distrust, the authors of the paper in the BMJ - who include leaders of nursing, pharmacy and public health bodies - argue there is a need to find neutral ground to address what appears to be a gaping hole in international law.
They point out that thanks to a new convention on tobacco control, international law is now tougher on counterfeit cigarettes than it is on fake medicines.
We hope that this will form the basis for getting some consensus on a definition of counterfeit drugs, which would then be transferable into a legal instrument, said another of the paper's authors, Martin McKee of the London School of Hygiene and Tropical Medicine.
The lack of a treaty means there is no agreement on which medicines are illegal and criminals can do business in countries where laws or enforcement are lax. There is also no requirement for police and prosecutors to cooperate across borders.
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