THE INTELLECTUAL Property Office of the Philippines (IPOPHL) seeks to fight the spread of counterfeit medicines and pharmaceutical products in the market through a partnership with non-profit organization Pharmaceutical Security Institute (PSI).  

In a statement on Monday, IPOPHL said it signed a memorandum of understanding with PSI on Nov. 18 to address the challenge of delivering safe medicines and ensuring integrity across the pharmaceutical supply chain.    

PSI is a United States-based organization involved in sharing information on the counterfeiting of pharmaceuticals and prompting enforcement actions through local authorities.    

“This synergy with PSI will help us better protect the value of intellectual property that is meant for our country’s economic gain and, of course, protect our consumers, especially where fake products involved can harm health and cost a life,” IPOPHL Director Rowel S. Barba said.    

According to IPOPHL, the agreement will provide the framework for training, awareness, and exchange of information regarding the sale, supply, and consumption of counterfeit medicines and pharmaceutical products.    

PSI President and Chief Executive Officer Todd Ratcliffe said counterfeiting has seen a shift in the past years from lifestyle drugs like weight loss steroids to live saving drugs such as cancer medications.    

“We encourage our members to call us at the very beginning of a case to see if we know something (and) 50% of the time, we have a positive fit on our database,” Mr. Ratcliffe said.    

He said all PSI members are mandated to share information, cooperate with law enforcement regulators, and protect public health. — Revin Mikhael D. Ochave