Clinigen Group plc (AIM: CLIN, ‘Clinigen’ or the ‘Group’) the global pharmaceutical and services company, has become a full member of the European Alliance for Access to Safe Medicines (EAASM) and Alliance for Safe Online Pharmacy in the EU (ASOP EU), both aiming to protect patients from the dangers of falsified or counterfeit drugs.
EAASM and ASOP are independent, not-for-profit organisations fighting counterfeit medicines and promoting patient safety and improved access to the right medicines, across Europe. A key focus in tackling this threat is educating patients and healthcare professionals of the dangers of internet pharmacies. Although legitimate in appearance, internet pharmacies are often not ethical; they knowingly sell substandard, falsified or counterfeit medicines and drugs that are untested and unapproved, even banned in a patient’s own country. The vast majority do not require a prescription to supply a prescription-only drug, many of which can be dangerous and pose a serious health risk if self-prescribed.
Access to the right medicine is not just a European issue – this is a global crisis with 80% of the world’s population, an estimated 5.5 billion people, experiencing low or non-existent access to medicines, many of which are essential1. Access to unlicensed medicines, which include drugs that have received regulatory approval but may not be available in a patient’s own country, can help to meet this huge unmet need. However, this unmet need has created an opportunity for the illegal production and supply of counterfeit, falsified or sub-standard medicines for profit.
Globally, there has been a significant increase in the supply of substandard and counterfeit drugs; in 2014 the World Customs Organisation highlighted that the worldwide market for counterfeit medicines was worth $200bn (£130bn)2. Clinigen is dedicated to providing an ethical, compliant route for healthcare professionals to source medicines, meeting this need through its Global Access division, Idis GA.
Steve Glass, Group Managing Director, Clinigen said:
“As the global market leaders in providing trusted access to unlicensed medicines to meet unmet medical need, we share many common goals with the EAASM and ASOP. Healthcare professionals and patients worldwide face major challenges in guaranteeing safe access to the medicines they need. Clinigen is committed to raising the standards of access to and supply of drugs in both clinical trial and unlicensed medicines, becoming the trusted source of genuine product. Our Global Access division is proud to be able to support the EAASM and ASOP in their valuable work to protect and educate patients across Europe about the dangers of counterfeit medicines.”
Mike Isles, Executive Director EAASM and ASOP EU said:
“The EAASM and ASOP EU are pleased to welcome Clinigen as members and partners in the fight to rid the global supply chain of counterfeit and sub-standard medicines and to promote access to safe medicines within Europe and beyond. To succeed, we must engage with all stakeholders to ensure a coordinated, collaborative approach to raise awareness of this criminal activity. It is great to have the expertise of a market leader like Clinigen committed to helping us in this mission.”
It is estimated that of the 331,430 health related websites which are monitored - 35,610 which are active internet pharmacies - 94.3% do not operate legally3 which poses real dangers to public health. ASOP EU and ASOP Global is specifically committed to making the internet a safer place to buy appropriate medicines.
1 www.talkingdrugs.org/dying-for-relief-access-to-pain-medication 24th April 2015
2 http://www.theguardian.com/society/2014/dec/28/drugs-medicines-sold-illegally-online-internet 28 December 2014
3 LegitScript https://www.legitscript.com
Clinigen Group plc
Tel: +44 (0) 1283 495010
Peter George, Group Chief Executive Officer
Shaun Chilton, Group Deputy Chief Executive Officer
EAASM and ASOP EU
Mike Isles, Executive Director EAASM and ASOP EU
Instinctif Partners (Media relations - Clinigen)
Tel: +44 (0) 20 7457 2020
Melanie Toyne-Sewell/Jen Lewis/Emma Barlow
About Clinigen Group
Clinigen Group plc (AIM: CLIN) is a global pharmaceutical and services company with a unique combination of businesses focused on providing access to medicines. Its mission is to deliver the right drug to the right patient at the right time.
The Group consists of five synergistic businesses focused in three areas of global medicine supply; clinical trial, unlicensed and licensed medicines.
Clinigen Clinical Trial Services is the global market leader in the management and supply of commercial medicines for clinical trials.
The Group is also the trusted global leader in ethically sourcing and supplying unlicensed medicines to hospital pharmacists and physicians for patients with a high unmet need, through three of its divisions: Idis Managed Access runs early access programs for innovative new medicines. Idis Global Access and Link Healthcare work directly with healthcare professionals to enable compliant access to unlicensed medicines on a global basis and niche essential licensed and generic medicines across Australasia, Africa and Asia (AAA region).
Clinigen Specialty Pharmaceuticals acquires global rights, revitalises and markets its own portfolio of niche hospital commercial products.
For more information, please visit www.clinigengroup.com
The European Alliance for Access to Safe Medicines (EAASM) is an independent, pan-European initiative dedicated to protecting patient safety by ensuring access to safe and legitimate medicines. The Alliance was formed by a cross-section of European stake-holders from a variety of backgrounds. Its key activities include campaigning for the safer use of unlicensed or off-label medicines and also the exclusion of counterfeit and substandard medicines from the supply chain, raising public awareness around such issues, and promoting effective legislation and enforcement in relation to falsified medicines.
“When is a Medicine Not a Medicine” is a report published by the EAASM which covers a number of the topics mentioned in the debate and can be obtained at http://www.eaasm.eu/when-a-medicine-is-not-a-medicine-report
For more information, please visit www.eaasm.eu
About ASOP EU
ASOP EU is a large coalition of patient groups, companies, organisations and individuals, united in the campaign to make the internet a safer place to obtain medicines (where it is legal to do so).
For more information, please visit www.asop.eu