WHO’s (and IFMSA!) working on a Saturday!

You probably did not think it could be true, but WHO actually works on Saturdays! Yes, indeed, Member States all convened to the WHO EB Room Saturday morning in order to tackle a very ambitious programme of work. Thinking that IFMSA would have the floor and talk about the Rio+20 Conference (unfortunately was deferred to Monday morning) we consulted the Brazilian delegation to know more on the current situation.

The item that got our attention today was the discussion on Substandard/spurious/falsely-labeled/falsified/counterfeit medical products (SSFFC). The working group discussed in length the following three points in their report:

  • WHO’s role in measures to ensure the availability of quality, safe, efficacious and affordable medical products
  • WHO’s role in the prevention and control of medical products of compromised quality, safety and efficacy such as substandard/spurious/falsely-labeled/falsified/counterfeit medical products from a public health perspective, excluding trade and intellectual property considerations
  • WHO’s relationship with the International Medical Products Anti-Counterfeiting Taskforce

There was a general consensus from Member States to support WHO’s continuation in making medicines more affordable, which is in line with WHO’s resolution to adopt the Rio Political Declaration on the Social Determinants of Health, as well as to establish a new Member State mechanism for international collaboration regarding SSFFC. It will act as a reporting system in order to quantify the scope of the problem, which for now is quite unknown.

An interesting idea was the future implementation of an international legislation which would deal with controlling SSFFC international commerce.

To be continued in May!

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