1. Political will to combat counterfeiting at national and international levels should be encouraged.
2. The WHO definition of counterfeit pharmaceutical products should be considered for adoption by all countries.
3. Member States should make every effort to collect and verify more accurate data on counterfeiting within their countries and submit these data to WHO or Interpol, as appropriate, to facilitate international collaboration.
4. Liaison officers of the WHO anti-counterfeit drugs network should be utilized for information exchange and investigation of counterfeit drugs. The draft WHO guidelines for the development of measures to combat counterfeit drugs are useful instruments and will be made available on the WHO website.
5. A national legislative framework should be in place with appropriate penalties and enforcement. National regulatory authorities should be strengthened to implement appropriate measures. In addition, customs services and the police should become integral partners in implementation. Fraudulent activities by members of the responsible authorities should not be tolerated.
6. At national level there is a need to encourage more reporting of counterfeit drugs. The introduction of innovative national approaches to this problem should be considered such as the Brazilian initiative to introduce toll free telephone lines for anonymous reporting of counterfeit drug trafficking.
7. At national and international level, industry should be more closely engaged with the regulatory authority by assisting in the identification of possible counterfeit medicines and in finding ways to address the counterfeiting problem. Action should be focused on the domestic, export and import markets and should cover raw materials and the final product.
8. International cooperation should be strengthened and involve international agencies such as WHO, UNICEF and Interpol. WHO and Interpol should develop initiatives to improve the exchange of information. International agencies should give specific consideration to the conflict between the need for regulatory authorities to know of the circulation of counterfeit products and the need for confidentiality when criminal investigations are under way.
9. Specific recommendations made by Interpol.
• Manufacturers should be legally required to report to regulatory authorities any information brought to their attention concerning a product which has been or may be counterfeited.
• Regulatory authorities should be informed of offers of drugs at prices substantially below the official price.
• Extradition treaties should be expanded to include the crime of drug counterfeiting.
10. The high cost of medicines in developing countries makes them unaffordable to large sectors of the population and increases the risk of counterfeiting. This should be addressed by the manufacturing companies who may need to consider lowering the price of drugs in poor countries most at risk of counterfeiting.