The Ministry of Health Malaysia has taken several initiatives in protecting the public from dangerous and counterfeit medicines. These exceptional efforts have been accorded international recognition with the presentation of the “Global Anti-Counterfeiting Award 2013” in the public sector category by the Global Anti-Counterfeiting Group Network (GACG), an international anti-counterfeit organization based in London, UK. The award was presented in conjunction with the World Anti-Counterfeiting Day organized by Union des Fabricans in Paris, France on the 28th of May 2013. The award was received by Dato’ Eisah binti A. Rahman, Senior Director of Pharmaceutical Services Division on behalf of the Ministry of Health Malaysia.
Indeed, this prestigious award is a great honour for Ministry of Health Malaysia especially the Pharmaceutical Services Division, who plays a leading role in curbing counterfeit medicine in Malaysia. Various efforts based on policies and operations have been successfully implemented, including a strong political commitment, robust legislation, a comprehensive regulatory system for medicines registration, effective use of MeditagTM security holograms, continuous enforcement activities and embarking in consumer awareness campaigns throughout Malaysia. The implementation of the MeditagTM since 2005 as an important tool for product authentication has shown positive impact in combating counterfeits in Malaysia. Close collaboration between the Pharmacy Enforcement Division with other government, private and non-government agencies at the national and global level, have also contributed to this success. This collaboration includes cooperation and participation in enforcement operations (Pangea, STORM), international forums and dialogues organized by NGOs (Drug Information Association, Reconnaissance International, etc.) in addition to active participation in the study on the existence of counterfeit products and initiatives to eradicate SSFFC (substandard/ spurious/ falsely labelled/ falsified/ counterfeit) medicinal products organised by the WHO.
This 15th annual GACG award ceremony has positioned the Pharmacy Enforcement Division, MOH Malaysia at par with world renowned law enforcement agency like the INTERPOL, which also received similar award in the international public body category. The Ministry of Health Malaysia will continue our commitment in protecting the public by combating counterfeit medicines in the marketplace. In this regard, I urge the consumers to be cautious and to avoid buying suspicious medicine which may be counterfeit.
Congratulation and well done to those who have contributed.