The Medicrime Convention: the first legal document criminalizing the production and distribution of counterfeit medical products.

At the end of 2010, the Ministerial Committees of the Council of Europe’s 47 States adopted an open draft Convention: « The European Committee Convention on counterfeit medical products and similar crimes that involving threats to public health,” known as the Medicrime Convention, the only international tool which criminalizes counterfeiting and the production and distribution of medical products put on the market without approval or in violation of safety standards. Opened to signature on October 28, 2011, the Medicrime Convention has today 26 States signatories.

1. Context

Medical products counterfeiting and similar crimes are a threat to public health. In the last several years, this phenomenon has been in constant growth and has achieved worrying proportions. It’s difficult to calculate the exact scale, but it is estimated that today counterfeit products represent nearly 10% of worldwide commercial medicine trade.


2. The Medicrime Convention

The Medicrime Convention aims to protect public health from the scourge of counterfeit medical products by introducing criminal penalties for certain acts including assisted or attempted counterfeiting, but also by putting in place certain preventive measures and victim protections. It also offers a framework for international cooperation and measures aimed at coordinating efforts at national levels.

In these ways the Medicrime Convention will help reinforce the fight against a lucrative traffic by imposing stricter suppression measures at national levels.