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24 Jun 2019

Belarus joins Council of Europe MEDICRIME Convention

Belarus joins Council of Europe MEDICRIME Convention

MINSK, 24 June (BelTA) – Belarus has joined the Council of Europe Convention on the counterfeiting of medical products and similar crimes involving threats to public health (MEDICRIME convention). The document was signed by Head of the External Affairs Department at the Belarusian Health Ministry Anatoly Grushkovsky in the presence of Deputy Secretary General of the Council of Europe Gabriella Battaini-Dragoni, BelTA learned from the Council of Europe press service.

The MEDICRIME Convention is the main instrument of international criminal law which binds its member states to criminalize production, counterfeiting of medical products, sale and transportation of counterfeited medical products, document forgery, as well as illegal production, storage, transportation, import, export, sale, and marketing of medical products in violation of the standards.

“Counterfeiting is a multi-billion business which poses a great threat to patients who are already suffering from health problems. According to recent estimates, global sales of counterfeited medical products increased twofold within five years (from 2005 till 2010) and accounted for over €57 billion. Other statistical data of the EU customs authorities prove that Internet sales of medical products have also increased. Almost 69% of confiscated mailed products were medical products,” the press service noted.

The convention envisages cooperation at the national and international levels in various areas of public administration, measures to ensure cooperation between various government agencies within one country, preventive measures for public and private sectors, and protection of victims and witnesses. Moreover, it provides for establishing an agency to control whether the member states adhere to the convention or not.

Belarus has become the 29th country to sign the convention which has already been ratified by 12 member states of the Council of Europe: Albania, Armenia, Belgium, Hungary, Spain, Portugal, Moldova, Russia, Turkey, Ukraine, France, and Switzerland, as well as by three non-CoE states: Benin, Burkina Faso, and Guinea.

Belarus is not part of the Council of Europe but is party to 11 conventions of this organization.

 

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