Essential medicines and health products

Guidelines for the development of measures to combat counterfeit medicines

WHO/EDM/QSM/99.1

Summary

As early as the fourth century BC people were warned about the dangers of adulterated medicines, and despite all the advances made over the years this concern has not disappeared. In the recent past the unregulated proliferation of pharmaceutical industries and products has brought with it many problems. Counterfeiting is just one example. These guidelines provide an overview of the problem and the factors contributing to counterfeiting drugs. They also outline the steps to be followed in developing national strategies, and specific measures for combating the growing problem of counterfeit drugs. Approaches to country studies, inspection and testing of suspected counterfeit drugs, and staff training are also covered.