Dr. Mahmoud Al Yamany, CEO of King Fahad Medical City (KFMC), unveiled that the annual sales average of counterfeited drugs worldwide reaches up to 75 billion dollars annually stressing that one and half million people die yearly as a result of these drugs. Counterfeited medicines statistics in Arab countries represent 25% to 30% and 10% worldwide while 50% of sales are made via internet as reported by World Health Organization.
This came during the opening of the 1st International Conference of Counterfeited Drugs in KFMC on behalf of Dr. Tawfiq Al Rabiah, Minister of Health, which was held over two days during which more than 14 scientific papers on the recent developments of Anti- counterfeited drugs were reviewed.
"The 1st International Conference of Counterfeited Drugs is an expansion of the academic activities concerned by the Ministry of Health in general and KFMC in particular represented by the Executive Administration of Academic and Training Affairs in cooperation with Pharmacy Services Administration, Faculty of Medicine and those specialist and interested individuals in health sector along with the participation of many governmental sectors who are interested in medicine issues in order to provide the highest medical services with high levels", Dr. Mahmoud Al Yamany added.
"The conference aims mainly at raising awareness of counterfeited drugs risks to the public health and economy. It attracts many speakers from KSA as well as international speakers from the European countries (Italy and UK) who represent the Italian Medicines Agency (AIFA) and World Health Organization to enrich the conference sessions and introduce the recent methods for detecting counterfeited drugs. Further, the conference will discuss the establishment of Anti-Counterfeited Drugs programs in cooperation with the related governmental sectors such as Saudi Food and Drug Authority and its role in eliminating this phenomenon and the integrative role among the Ministry of Commerce and Investment, Saudi Customs and the General Directorate of Border Guards in eliminating counterfeited drugs trafficking phenomenon", Dr. Mahmoud Al Yamany added
Prof. Ali Mustafa, Chairman of the Organizing Committee, explained that the counterfeited drugs sales during the recent years represent a regional and international threat to the citizens' health and national economy due to its serious effect. Prof. Ali Mustafa commended the initiative of the Faculty of Medicine and KFMC Pharmacy Services on organizing such international conference attended by specialized experts from WHO, The Italian Medicines Agency (AIFA), Saudi Food and Drug Authority, Saudi Customs, Naif Arab University for Security Sciences, and the Cooperation Council for the Arab States of the Gulf to shed light on such problem and engage in talks to find consistent scientific and legal methods to combat such problem and find suitable solutions.