Combating the Counterfeiting of the Medical Products and Similar Crimes through Criminal Law in the Medicrime Convention and the Necessity of Hard International Law
Counterfeit in medical products, including medicine and medical devices, is an illegal and harmful behavior which has made the world community react and combat against it due to the threats it causes to the public health. MEDICRIME convention provides a combat against this phenomenon through focusing on the public health and separating it from the intellectual property, codifying the prevention strategies, using the criminal law, protection of victims, and international cooperation. It is the first European criminal law instrument which, through defining some essential terms, and using the criminal law, has required the member states to criminalize some behaviors such as the manufacturing, supply, offering to supply, importing/exporting of counterfeit medical products, as well as the falsification and tampering with the related documents, and founded the criminal combat against the counterfeit and other similar crimes involving threats to public health by imposing punishments and some effective, proportionate, and dissuasive measures. The aforesaid instrument is not uncriticizable and does not conform to the global determination with regard to separation of the falsified products from the substandard ones, and it has not criminalized the gross fault of the substandard products manufacturers even by similar criminal titles. It also does not include the measures regarding the trade and e-commerce of falsified medical products or encouraging some stakeholders such as the pharmaceutical companies to effectively participate in the combat against such phenomenon; and at the same time, it is a European instrument . Therefore, now and after years, the world needs a hard law and an independent convention which, under guidance of the World Health Organization and with participation of all stakeholders, can predict an international and comprehensive convention.