ASOP Global Annual All-Hands Strategy Session and Hill Day
Washington, D.C., USA
November 15, 2018 – Save the Date
April 17, 2018
According to the Alliance of Safe Online Pharmacy in the EU (ASOP EU) the illegal manufacturing and distribution of fake medicines is an enormous and growing public health risk with an untold cost to lives. Organised criminal gangs make vast profits from these illegal sales and often use the proceeds to support other sinister criminal activities.
The Internet provides the ideal channel to buy illegally distributed fake medicines. Price, convenience and secrecy as well as ignorance to the dangers are driving consumer demand, creating the perfect environment for over 35,000 illegally operating websites.
“The only really effective way to stop the criminals is by educating the public about buying medicines online. Our study shows that the vast majority of people just do not understand that most websites are selling medicines illegally. So if we can educate and stop the demand that is the more than half the battle won, ” said Mike Isles, Executive Director of ASOP EU.
Announced at the European Union Intellectual Property Office (EUIPO) Observatory meeting in Brussels, ASOP EU and Together against Cybercrime International (TaC) have teamed up to educate the youth of today about fake medicines by developing the Youth IGF Movement.
What is the Youth IGF Movement?
The Youth Internet Governance Forum (IGF) is a global movement that operates as a multi-stakeholder platform. It allows young people ages 15-29 years old to discuss and take a lead on issues related to Internet governance in the format of local, national or regional debates. These debates are organised by the young on a volunteer basis. The Youth IGF is based on the principles of the United Nations IGF.
The main objective of the initiative is to allow the voice of young people to be heard by Information Society leaders on issues related to internet governance and to help young people to take an active part in the decision-making processes.
Specific objectives include; promoting informal education on questions related to Internet governance and cybersecurity, raise awareness on Internet-related issues, safe and responsible use of the Internet and to promote the multi-stakeholder model among youngsters/ Promote entrepreneurship
“The phenomenon of fake medicines has massive consequences for the youth of today. With a growing expectation that the Internet enables you to buy literally anything online, then fake, falsified or substandard medicines causes real patient safety issues. Already we have cases of young girls buying slimming pills and overdosing and dying, which is a real tragedy. This collaboration can help educate the youth around the globe of today to ensure they have a safe future tomorrow,” said Yuliya Morenets, Founder of TaC.
Together against Cybercrime International (Tac) is a nonprofit civil society anti-cybercrime organisation established in France and working at local, national, European and international levels. TaC International works in the field of cybercrime/cybersecurity and child online protection and advises different entities on cybersecurity strategies. TaC is also actively involved in Internet governance issues by stimulating discussion on the use of information and communication technologies (ICTs) by vulnerable people and initiating debate in the format of youth and teenager dialogue. Website Facebook
March 8, 2018
ASOP EU recently convened an “All-Hands” Meeting with Members to discuss its 2018 objectives and share highlights of patient safety activities.
Of particular significance was the collaboration shown by key Members, notably Becton Dickinson, Clinigen, Fight the Fakes, FMEDS, GS1, MHRA and Sanofi, who took the opportunity to give details of their own initiatives against falsified medicines as well as endorsing the ASOP EU 2018 goals.
The key ASOP EU 2018 goals are:
December 4-8, 2017
ASOP Global completed a highly successful trip to China during the week of December 4, 2017. This trip was a follow-up to an October 2016 China trip – ASOP Global’s first activity in the country – that included a symposium organized by ASOP Global and local China partners titled “International Symposium on Drug Chain Security & Combating Counterfeit Drugs.”
The December 2017 follow-up trip provided an opportunity for ASOP Global to continue to build support in China for ASOP Global and patient safety regarding online sales of medicines. The ASOP Global Delegation included the following ASOP Global Board, member and observer organization representatives:
During the delegation trip, ASOP Global met with 11 organizations, listed below. These meetings included an excellent exchange of information and best practices with strong support expressed for ASOP Global’s efforts.
The delegation trip was very successful and ASOP Global is now viewed as a valuable partner as China moves forward with the sale of medicines online. China FDA is very interested in future coordination with ASOP Global, as well as Alibaba Health having viewed the organization as a valuable partner.
ASOP Global looks forward to continuing an open dialogue and cooperative efforts with organizations and other key China stakeholders in 2018 and beyond.
Below are pictures of the ASOP Global delegation meeting with China partners, China FDA and industry associations based in China.
November 21, 2017
The official membership signing took place during the First European Medical Association Annual Conference.
Mike Isles was invited to attend the General Assembly of the European Medical Association (EMA) by the President Vincenzo Costigliola. Mike was also given the opportunity to present the aims and objectives of the two organisations to the audience present.
The General Assembly took place within the Acute and General Medicine Congress which hosted the first European Medical Association Annual Conference.
The European Medical Association was created in 1990 by doctors from 12 member states, and was established as an “international foundation pursuing a scientific aim” according to the Belgian law dating 25/10/1919. It is a unique, independent non-profit organisation, which offers every European Community doctor the opportunity to: join a European network of doctors, add a European dimension to their professional and social life and actively influence the development of European healthcare.
In terms of collaboration with ASOP EU and the EAASM, plans are under way. As an example, an educational leaflet for patients informing them about the dangers associated with falsified medicines is being progressed. This has the potential to be effective in raising awareness across the EMA network and thus enhance patient safety greatly. In addition, EMA website visitors can click on an icon which routes through to an education website in 5 languages about falsified medicines. This website mirrors those that are currently part of the extensive Google AdWord campaigns running in France, Germany, Italy, Spain and the UK.
ASOP Global Delegation to China
December 4, 2017
As a follow-up to ASOP Global’s “International Symposium on Drug Supply Chain Security and Combatting Counterfeit Drugs” in October 2016, a delegation of ASOP Global Members returned to China on Monday, December 4. Led by Board Member Jeff Gren, the delegation began a slate of meetings with several key stakeholders in Beijing. The delegation, which includes representatives from the Pharmaceutical Security Institute, USP, UK Medicines & Healthcare products Regulatory Agency (MHRA), Takeda Pharmaceuticals, Rx-360 China, and Eli Lilly, met with representatives from PhIRDA, the U.S. Embassy, and the U.S. Food & Drug Administration China Office. Additional meetings are to be held over the next week – ten in total – with other key local and international partners in support of ASOP Global’s efforts to ensure patient safety and security online.
November 18, 2017
ASOP attended the 10th European Antibiotic Awareness Day organized by the European Centre for Disease Prevention and Control (ECDC). Mike Isles took the opportunity to meet the European Commissioner for Health, Dr. Vytenis Andriukaitis, who gave the keynote address, to inform him that consumers/patients who were buying antibiotics from illegally operating websites were potentially contributing to antimicrobial resistance (AMR).
Organizations were invited to say how they were contributing to the collaborative effort to combat AMR. ASOP explained how they were doing this with an intervention, as follows:
“The Alliance for Safe Online Pharmacy in the EU (ASOP EU) and its partner ASOP Global and these organizations are making the public aware of illegally operating online pharmacy websites. A recent report issued in March 2017 by the National Association of Boards of Pharmacy (a non-profit organization comprised of state pharmacy regulators in the US, Canada, Australia, New Zealand and other countries) revealed that two-thirds of organic search engine results for antibiotics, yielded rogue websites that sell these medications without the need for a prescription, operating in opposition to national and local laws and relevant pharmacy practice standards. Purchasing antibiotics from these websites means consumers are taking these powerful medications without oversight from a licensed health care provider and potentially contributing to antibiotic resistance.”
This is of major public health concern and highlights the need to educate patients and caregivers about how the overuse of antibiotics from illegal online pharmacies is leading to antibiotic resistance. ASOP has a number of initiatives to raise awareness, namely:
Combined resistance to multiple antibiotics: a growing problem in the EU
It is an alarming fact that AMR presents a serious social and economic burden. It is estimated to be responsible for 25,000 deaths per year in Europe and 700,000 deaths per year globally. AMR also pushes up the cost of treatment and diminishes productivity due to illness. In the EU alone, it is estimated that it cost EUR 1.5 billion annually. AMR threatens the achievement of several of the United Nation’s Sustainable Development Goals, particularly for the targets for good health and well-being.
In the ECDC policy-briefing, note their headline is telling and of great concern “Last-line antibiotics are failing: options to address this urgent threat to patients and healthcare systems.
Summary of the latest data on antibiotic resistance in the European Union makes for interesting reading and highlights the various areas of Europe being affected by AMR. It highlights that prudent antimicrobial use and comprehensive infection prevention and control strategies targeting all healthcare sectors are the cornerstones of effective intervention to prevent the selection and transmission of bacteria resistant to antimicrobial agents.
Read the press release here: Combined resistance to multiple antibiotics: a growing problem in the EU
Fight the Fakes International Meeting
October 23-25, 2017
ASOP Global’s Mike Isles was among the Fight the Fakes partners representing healthcare professionals, academia, NGOs, the generic and research-based pharmaceutical industry, healthcare distributors, and consumer protection organizations who met in Brussels to work on their future plans to raise awareness of the widespread sale and use of falsified medicines across the world and the dangers associated with these fake products.
October 11, 2017
ASOP Global’s Executive Director, Libby Baney, presented the 2017 Global Patient Safety Champion Awards to the Honorable Michael C. Burgess, MD (R-TX-26), Chairman, House Energy and Commerce Subcommittee on Health; the Honorable Eugene Green (D-TX-29), Ranking Member, House Energy and Commerce Subcommittee on Health and the National Association of Boards of Pharmacy (NABP) at a Capitol Hill reception in Washington, DC.
Libby Baney and the Honorable Eugene Green
Libby Baney and Marty Allain, NABP
Libby Baney and the Honorable Michael C. Burgess, MD (R-TX-26)
June 29, 2017
The Alliance for Safe Online Pharmacies (ASOP Global) and the Alliance for Safe Online Pharmacy (ASOP EU) hosted the fifth Best Practice Sharing Workshop in Paris, France on June 29. ASOP Global’s Executive Director, Libby Baney, ASOP EU’s Mike Isles and Klaus Gritschneder, and NABP’s Policy and Communications Director, Melissa Madigan were joined by 20 EU member states and not-for-profit organizations where they discussed the need for more public awareness programs about falsified medicines like those previously conducted by ASOP Global in the U.S. and ASOP EU, as well as the “Common Logo”, which must appear on every online pharmacy selling medicine in Europe, and the latest progress relating to NABP’s .pharmacy top level domain (TLD) initiative.
Left to Right –
Hanne Hanken (Norway); Quentin Duteil (Fondation Chirac); Monika Macisowicz (Poland); Marion Barreau (IRACM); Klaus Gritschneder (ASOP EU); Mike Isles (ASOP EU); Lynda Scammell (UK); Sammy Kohli (Denmark); Sasa Polovic (Croatia); Melissa Madigan (NABP); Alain Denis (Belgium); Philippe de Buck (Belgium); Libby Baney (ASOP Global); Felicia Vaz (Fight the Fakes); Paul Brewer (UK); Aline Plancon (FMEDs Programme)
2017 European Association of Clinical Pharmacology and Therapeutics Congress (EACPT)
June 26, 2017
Prague, Czech Republic
Mike Isles, executive director of ASOP EU, and other international experts led the Global Health/Access to Safe Medicines Session during the 2017 European Association of Clinical Pharmacology and Therapeutics (EACPT) Congress, which was held in Prague from June 24-27. Watch the panel discussion featuring the experts listed below.
Pavle Zelic, Medicines and Medical Devices Agency, Serbia
Josez Glasa, Slovak Medical University, Slovakia
Mike Isles, ASOP EU and EAASM
Prof. Donald Singer, Clinical Pharmacologist, EACPT
and President, Fellowship of Postgraduate Medicine
June 5, 2017
Quebec City, Canada
May 20, 2017
ASOP Global’s Executive Director, Libby Baney, and NABP’s Policy and Communications Director, Melissa Madigan and Ronald F.Guse, an NABP .pharmacy Canadian consultant, member of the board of the Canadian Patient Safety Institute and former Manitoba Provincial Regulator were the speakers at the first Canadian Internet Drug Sales Roundtable, which was held during NABP’s 113th annual conference in Orlando, FL.
April 28, 2017
ASOP Global and The Pew Charitable Trusts held a briefing on Capitol Hill to discuss illegal online pharmacies; protections provided by the Drug Supply Chain Security Act; risks associated with legalizing importation of prescription medicines from Canada and other countries; and consequences for patients who are exposed to unsafe products.
March 28-31, 2017
ASOP Global’s Libby Baney and experts from the U.S. FDA, USP and University of Maryland were among the speakers at the APEC RHSC Regulatory Science Center of Excellence for Product Quality and Supply Chain Pilot Program held March 28-31, 2017.
March 22-24, 2017
Mike Isles, Executive Director of the EAASM and ASOP EU presented at the symposium entitled “Access to Unlicensed Medicines; Right Medicine, Right Patient, Right Time.”
March 11-16, 2017
ASOP Global’s Matt Rubin and ASOP EU’s Mike Isles presented ASOP Global’s inaugural Internet Pharmacy Safety E-Commerce Leadership Award to Rightside and Realtime Register during the Generic Names Supporting Organization (GNSO) Joint Meeting of the Registries and Registrars Stakeholder Groups at ICANN58 in Copenhagen.
March 1-2, 2017
New Delhi, India
ASOP Global’s Libby Baney and Jeff Gren were joined by 160 representatives from the Government of India (Gol), Partnership for Safe Medicines (PSM) India Initiative, International Alliance of Patients’ Organizations (IAPO), Indian Pharmacopeia Commission (IPC), U.S. Pharmacopeial Convention (USP) and other international organizations for this two-day event.