Committee Against Smuggling and Counterfeiting Activities Destroying the Economy) jointly with The Transnational Alliance to Combat Illicit Trade (TRACIT) issued a statement warning consumers about the risks and growing availability of fake, falsified and substandard medical, healthcare and other products.
Both organizations, known for mitigating illicit trade across industry sectors worldwide, reports a surge in ineffective, fraudulent products that undermine public health and efforts to stem the COVID-19 pandemic.
Mr Anil Rajput, Chairman, FICCI CASCADE said, “Arresting the sale of illicit goods at the time of this unprecedented crisis needs our immediate and unwavering attention. It is well known that illicit trade exacerbates unemployment, bleeds the economy and causes tremendous harm to the health and safety of the people. The current situation which is already witnessing a severe socio-economic distress, sale of fake and smuggled goods will only worsen the problem. Stern actions should be taken to see that criminals do not profit from this pandemic by selling illicit products.”
Worldwide reports indicate an increase in the availability and type of fraudulent medical products intended to exploit the fears of consumers, which includes illicit offerings of falsified versions of treatments such as Hydroxychloroquine and Azithromycin that will harm or kill already vulnerable patients. Joint operations by the World Customs Organization, Europol and Interpol have resulted in asignificant increase in seizures of counterfeit and unauthorized face masks and hand sanitizers.
In the long run, FICCI CASCADE and TRACIT expressed concern that the COVID-19 pandemic underscores the urgent need for a strong international policy framework to combat the illicit trade of fake, falsified and substandard medical products and medicines.