Developing a national strategy for combating counterfeit medicines

Alwon, Bassam (2015) Developing a national strategy for combating counterfeit medicines. Doctoral thesis, University of East Anglia.

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Abstract

Background
Counterfeit medicines pose a worldwide problem to governments, pharmaceutical
companies and patients, meaning a systemic and comprehensive approach needs to be
adopted by medicines regulatory agencies. The UK’s Medicines and Health Regulatory
Agency (MHRA) was one of the first national agencies to develop and implement a
strategy to combat counterfeit medicines. Exploring this experience from different
perspectives provides an opportunity to build knowledge and inform others considering
adopting a similar approach.
Aims
The aim of this research is to describe and investigate the key components in developing
an anti-counterfeit medicines strategy in the UK; through describing and examining
agency and stakeholder views on its development, implementation and evaluation and
the roles of pharmacists and GPs within this.
Methods
A mixed method qualitative and quantitative research design was used which comprised
four separate studies. Two semi-structured interview studies of MHRA and stakeholders
participants were undertaken alongside two postal survey studies of community
pharmacists and GPs.
Findings
The significant risk to patients resulting from counterfeit medicines underpinned the
decision to develop and implement a national strategy. Stakeholders have an important
role in the development of the strategy and in its implementation by securing the supply
chain, sharing information, educating others, being vigilant and reporting suspicions.
Pharmacists and GPs reported limited experience of counterfeit medicines. Whilst GPs
reported receiving no related education or training, pharmacists frequently reported
supply practices which did not align with current guidance.
Conclusion
There was agreement that in order to effectively combat counterfeit medicines a
national strategy was required. Stakeholders from the pharmaceutical industry,
regulatory bodies, medical and pharmacy professions were seen to have an important
role in both its drafting and implementation. Pharmacists and GPs mainly believed that
they had a role in combating counterfeit medicines however it was identified that they
required better underpinning education and training. The research findings provide a
framework of evidence-based guidance for developing an anti-counterfeit medicines
strategy.

Item Type: Thesis (Doctoral)
Faculty \ School: Faculty of Science > School of Pharmacy
Depositing User: Jackie Webb
Date Deposited: 07 Jun 2016 14:05
Last Modified: 07 Jun 2016 14:05
URI: https://ueaeprints.uea.ac.uk/id/eprint/59256
DOI:

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