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  Record of Chatham House Meeting on Counterfeit
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This report summarises the main issues and discussion points raised during the Roundtable on Counterfeit, Falsified and Substandard Medicines hosted by the Centre on Global Health Security at Chatham House on 16 December 2010.

The Roundtable reviewed the current definitions and legal provisions related to counterfeit, falsified and substandard medicines at national and international levels. It examined proposals for revising current definitions in order to facilitate international dialogue and contribute to resolving ongoing disputes over the definitions and how best national governments and international agencies can combat these dangerous medicines.

There was agreement that a framework encompassing the three concepts of counterfeit, falsified and substandard was appropriate and could offer a way forward. Most participants thought the definition of substandard was not problematic the real issue was whether there was a need to distinguish between counterfeit and falsified medicines; if so, what the precise nature of the distinction was; and what the practical implications of making (or not making) this distinction were.

The suggestion was made that the World Health Organization/International Medical Products Anti-Counterfeiting Taskforce (WHO/IMPACT) definition could be changed to refer to falsified rather than counterfeit medicines. If that change were made, then the meaning of counterfeit medicines would revert to that referred to in the World Trade Organizations Agreement on Trade-Related Aspects of Intellectual Property Rights (TRIPS) - a wilful form of trademark infringement. For some countries, it was important that WHO should not endorse a definition that could imply WHO involvement in intellectual property (IP) enforcement. A possible solution suggested was to exclude trademark issues from the definition of falsification used by WHO, recognising that these are adequately covered by the TRIPS definition of counterfeiting, and that civil trademark infringement was not relevant.

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