Home Economy Pharma group enlisted in crackdown on sale of counterfeit drugs online

Pharma group enlisted in crackdown on sale of counterfeit drugs online

Illustration photo shows various medicine pills in their original packaging in Brussels, Belgium Aug. 9, 2019. — REUTERS/YVES HERMAN/ILLUSTRATION

THE Intellectual Property Office of the Philippines (IPOPHL) and the Pharmaceutical and Healthcare Association of the Philippines (PHAP) have signed an agreement to help protect the public against counterfeit drugs sold online, IPOPHL said.

In a statement on Wednesday, the intellectual property (IP) regulator said the e-commerce memorandum of understanding (MoU) with PHAP will help curb the illicit sale of counterfeit drugs online.

“By creating an environment that stimulates innovation through IP, we can ensure widespread access to quality and affordable medicines for our people even as we protect IP rights from possible infringement and the public against counterfeit drugs,” IPOPHL Director General Rowel S. Barba said.

Under the agreement, PHAP Executive Director Teodoro Padilla said that the two parties will establish a code of practice aimed at responding to reports of the illegal online sale of drugs.

“We aim to create a safer online trading environment for all stakeholders; from notice and takedown procedures to proactive and preventive measures, we are committed to upholding the principles of fairness and transparency in the digital domain,” Mr. Padilla said.

“The Philippine E-Commerce MoU has been enabling collaboration between online platforms Lazada, Shopee, TikTok Shop, and Zalora and brand owners to streamline ways of preventing and taking down online activities that infringe on the latter’s IP rights,” the IPOPHL said.

The PHAP and the IPOPHL also signed another agreement for collaboration in making medicines that respond to emerging healthcare challenges more accessible.

Under the second MoU, both parties will create a framework and a work plan that include knowledge-sharing and consultation on legislative measures.

“The signatories will also be undertaking policy dialogue on areas that may strengthen the country’s IP regime for healthcare innovation and create joint anti-counterfeiting campaigns or other IP awareness activities,” the IPOPHL said. — Justine Irish D. Tabile

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