Friday, April 13, 2012

Counterfeit Medicines in Indonesia

A series of seminars around Indonesia this week highlight the problem of counterfeit medicines. The chairwoman of the Indonesian Anti-Counterfeiting Society (MIAP) along with a number of US government officials are widely quoted in the newspapers on Thursday. They explain how high quality fake packaging fools consumers. Viagra and Cialis are the most widely prevalent fakes, but many other fakes are seen too. Fake medicines are sold from black market traders, or from known locations such as Pramuka market. Yet the authorities do not crack down enough on the issue seeing it as a commercial trademark issue, rather than focusing on the potential harm to consumers. The police and the courts need to improve. In one video shown at the seminar, people were seen hunting through hospital garbage for packaging including vials for refilling. The Ministry of Health cited a number of generic products which are as equally counterfeited as the branded ones.

IP Komodo concurs; the police are almost totally ineffective at IP enforcement right now and hardly any cases make it to prosecution in Indonesia. The Ministry of Health inspectors have an uphill battle bringing cases.

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