Logo of Phnom Penh Post newspaper Phnom Penh Post - Fake medicines production an international problem



Fake medicines production an international problem

Content image - Phnom Penh Post
Health workers preparing to destroy fake medicines seized in Beijing in 2013. AFP

Fake medicines production an international problem

Prime Minister Hun Sen has expressed his concern about the abundance of fake and substandard medicines in the market, calling them a danger to public health and social safety.

Presiding over the regional conference on Fight against fake and substandard medicines held yesterday and today at Sofitel Hotel in Phnom Penh, he said the fake medicines are widespread and many are sold online. This, he said, made it difficult for the authorities to control.

The conference was attended by some 450 representatives from relevant ministries, government institutions, officials from Phnom Penh and the provinces, national and international guests and the private sector.

Hun Sen said: “The widespread use of fake and substandard medicines might be caused by the high price of the original medicines, an ineffective production mechanism, and the way they are sold in markets.

“There should be more training for health officials to monitor and inspect the quality of the medicines and more public awareness. All these elements combined give criminals an opportunity to exploit society and seriously threaten the well-being and life of the people.”

He said no country can successfully crack down on fake and substandard medicines on its own. The fight requires good and close cooperation with neighbouring countries, an efficient exchange of information and strict law enforcement.

The head of a committee to tackle fake products at the Ministry of Interior, Meach Sophanna, said only a joint strategy on techniques and legislation can stop the problem.

“This regional international conference is a special forum for delegates and representatives of the health, justice and security departments in the Mekong region.

“Our partner institutions, such as the World Health Organisation (WHO), the international police, and Unicef will do everything they can to stop the production,” he said.

During the opening ceremony of the conference, he said the committee could not estimate the amount of fake medicines circulating in Cambodia.

WHO director-general Dr Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus said in a video clip played at the conference that his organisation received all sorts of falsified and substandard products every day and that no region or country was without such products.

“In low- and middle-income countries, more than 10 per cent of the medicines fail to cure the disease they are supposed to treat."

“At best, substandard and falsified medicines do nothing else but prolong sickness and waste money. At worse, they kill and can be seriously harmful."

“Antibiotics are those most reported to WHO. This deceitful industry damages our health system and deprives people of their right to good health,” he said.

He said in order to protect the people from [bad] products, countries need to share information and work together to prevent and detect such threats and respond to them. “We need to stop the supply,” he concluded.

MOST VIEWED

  • Phnom Penh placed in two-week lockdown

    The government has decided to place Phnom Penh in lockdown for two weeks, effective April 14 midnight through April 28, as Cambodia continues to grapple with the ongoing community outbreak of Covid-19, which has seen no sign of subsiding. According to a directive signed by Prime Minister

  • Cambodia on the verge of national tragedy, WHO warns

    The World Health Organisation (WHO) in Cambodia warned that the country had reached another critical point amid a sudden, huge surge in community transmission cases and deaths. “We stand on the brink of a national tragedy because of Covid-19. Despite our best efforts, we are

  • Hun Sen: Stay where you are, or else

    Prime Minister Hun Sen warned that the two-week lockdown of Phnom Penh and adjacent Kandal provincial town Takmao could be extended if people are not cooperative by staying home. “Now let me make this clear: stay in your home, village, and district and remain where

  • Businesses in capital told to get travel permit amid lockdown through One Window Service

    The Phnom Penh Municipal Administration has issued guidelines on how to get travel permission for priority groups during the lockdown of Phnom Penh, directing private institutions to apply through the municipality's One Window Service and limit their staff to a mere two per cent. In

  • Vaccination open to foreigners in Cambodia

    The Ministry of Health on April 8 issued an announcement on Covid-19 vaccination for foreigners residing and working in Cambodia, directing the Ministry of Labour and Vocational Training and local authorities to register them. Health minister Mam Bun Heng, who is also head of the inter-ministerial

  • Ministry names types of business permitted amid lockdown

    The Ministry of Labour and Vocational Training singled out 11 types of business that are permitted to operate during the lockdown of Phnom Penh and Takmao town, which run through April 28. Those include (1) food-processing enterprises and slaughterhouses; (2) providers of public services such as firefighting, utility and