A single counterfeit box of medicine can harm or kill several patients. For this reason, pharmacists working at 24 hours pharmacies in France should be vigilant enough to lower have a zero tolerance of counterfeit medicines. Many people may think that the counterfeiting of currency and consumer products are common problems that governments and manufacturers around the world face. However, the counterfeiting of medications is a particularly menacing practice.
Medicine counterfeiters not only defraud consumers but also deny ill patients the therapies that can lessen suffering and save lives. In some countries the counterfeiting of drugs is endemic. Actually, some patients have a better chance of getting a fake medicine than real ones. In France, counterfeit drugs are also common. However, a relatively comprehensive system of laws, regulations, and enforcement by pharmacy regulatory authorities has kept drug counterfeiting rare. People living in France can now have a high degree of confidence in the drugs they obtain through legal channels.
In recent years, 24 hours pharmacies ( pharmacie ouverte ) in France have seen growing evidence of efforts by increasingly well-organized counterfeiters. This has been backed by increasingly sophisticated technologies and criminal operations. The specific approach to assuring that patients visiting 24 hours pharmacies in France are protected from counterfeit drugs includes the following critical elements
Implementation of new technologies
The capabilities of counterfeiters continue to evolve rapidly is because there is no single technology that provides any long-term assurance of drug security. However, a combination of rapidly enhanced “track and trace” technologies and product authentication technologies should provide a much greater level of security for drug products. Similar anti-counterfeiting technologies are being used in other industries to facilitate rapid development and utilization to keep drugs secure against counterfeits.
Modern electronic technology is approaching the state at which it can reliably and affordably provide greater assurances that a drug product was manufactured safely. In addition, there should be an assurance that the medicines were distributed under conditions that did not compromise its effectiveness. The France government has concluded that this approach is a much more reliable direction for assuring the legitimacy of a drug than paper recordkeeping requirements.
Radiofrequency Identification (RFID) tagging of products by manufacturers and implemented by 24 hours pharmacies in France appears to be the most promising approach to reliable product tracking and tracing. Major feasibility studies and technology improvements are underway to confirm that RFID will provide cost-reducing benefits. This will be done to establish the benefits in areas such as inventory control while also providing the ability to track and trace the movement of every package of drugs from production to dispensing. Most importantly, reliable RFID technology will make the replication of medications either extremely difficult or unprofitable.
Adoption of electronic track and trace technology
At the time government of France recommended for the use of track and trace, manufacturers and 24 hours pharmacies had already experienced practical and administrative challenges. RFID technology, which would provide a de facto electronic pedigree, could surpass the intent of the prior regulations and at a lower cost. The government of France intends to continue to stay its regulations regarding certain existing requirements to allow suppliers to focus on implementing modern effective technologies as quickly as possible.
Implementation and enforcement of anti-counterfeiting laws and regulations
State licenses have an important role in regulating the drug distribution supply chain because they regulate wholesale drug distributors. The government of France is tirelessly working with the National Association of Boards of Pharmacy to develop and implement revised state model rules for licensure of wholesale drug distributors. Such rules will make it difficult for illicit wholesalers to become licensed and transact business. In addition, this will make it easier to deter and detect channels for counterfeit drugs. Some 24 hours pharmacies in France have already reduced counterfeit threats by adopting such measures.
Increased criminal penalties to punish those convicted
Even if increasing criminal penalties would not affect anti-counterfeit regulatory framework, it would provide an added deterrent to criminals who work to counterfeit medications. 24 hours pharmacies in France should request the government to amend the sentencing guidelines to increase substantially the criminal penalties for manufacturing and distributing counterfeit drugs. This will provide enhanced penalties based on the level of risk to the public health involved in the offense.
Embracing secure business practices in the drug supply chain
Protection against counterfeit drugs includes effective actions by drug producers, distributors, and dispensers. This is because they have the interest to secure their business practices such as ensuring the legitimacy of business partners and refusing to do business with persons of unknown or dubious background. In addition, they may take steps to ensure physical security and identify an individual or team in the pharmacy with primary responsibility for effective implementation of security practices. The wholesalers have already formulated a set of secure business practices. The government will continue to work with major participants in the drug supply chain to develop and implement such business practices. This will be done through steps as such issuing guidance and support the development and growth of industry best practices. The government of France intends to increase its inspection efforts of manufacturers whose operating procedures especially for dentists ( dentiste garde ) place them at increased risk for the introduction of counterfeit drugs.
Collaboration with foreign stakeholders to develop counterfeit strategies
Counterfeit drugs have nowadays become a global challenge to all nations. Moreover, criminal counterfeiting operations are increasingly operating across the French borders. The government of France is determined to work with the World Health Organization, other international public health organizations and law enforcement authorities to develop and implement worldwide strategies to combat counterfeit drugs. The steps described in this write up are intended to secure the safety of drug supply which the government regulates. The government of France has the legal authority and resources to assure the safety and efficacy of drugs purchased from 24 hours pharmacies in France. In addition, the government can also regulate the foreign suppliers that affect the French domestic drug distribution system.