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The World Customs Organization (WCO) and the Institute of Research Against Counterfeit Medicines (IRACM) issue a new warning about the health and safety of African populations
Date:6/13/2013

one billion counterfeit or illicit products were discovered inside 145 containers. The Democratic Republic of Congo and Togo are the countries where the most significant results were attained in terms of volume. The majority of intercepted shipments originated from East and South Asia and the Middle East. "Operation BIYELA has brought irrefutable proof of the major role that customs play in protecting consumers," declared Kunio Mikuriya, Secretary General of the WCO. "Apart from the interception of dangerous products, this international operation allows us to gather precious intelligence on the traffic of these products, and therefore reinforce our inspections," he added. "The success of customs in only 10 days and at 23 African ports provides a horrifying idea of the scourge that the traffic of fake medicines represents on this continent. It is time that all national and international authorities mobilize to protect the life of patients," declared Jacques Franquet, Director of the IRACM.

  • Agents trained to recognize counterfeit medicines.

To prepare for the operation, customs agents were trained to recognize the technical characteristics of products likely to be counterfeited, as well as risk-analysis techniques. The training was provided by the WCO with the support of the IRACM, Institute of Research Against Counterfeit Medicines and experts of the concerned industrial sectors, such as the pharmaceutical sector. 

This advanced training was provided with the help of the IPM (Interface Public Members), a tool developed by the WCO that provides fast detection of counterfeited items. The IPM contains key information on the branded products supplied by the licensees (photos, technical description, transp
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SOURCE Institute of Research Against Counterfeit Medicines (IRACM); World Customs Organization (WCO)
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