BE AWARE toolkit for health professionals

BE AWARE - Helping to fight counterfeit medicines, keeping patients safer

The growing menace of counterfeit medicines presents a serious and increasing threat to patient safety and public health. Health professionals have ongoing responsibilities and some new ones, in ensuring that patients receive safe and appropriate medications. The World Health Professions Alliance (WHPA)* aims to support health professionals in this essential work and has taken on the fight against counterfeits as a priority action area. We are committed to combating counterfeits through raising awareness among health professionals and providing some tools and strategies for detecting counterfeit medicines and for safely informing colleagues and patients. We want to raise the ‘suspect’ index for counterfeit medicines where patients on treatment do not report getting better or appear with new unexpected symptoms. At the same time WHPA is keen to manage the risk communication aspect of this effort, ensuring patient adherence to medicines.

The World Health Organisation (WHO) has established an International Medical Products Anti Counterfeiting Task Force (IMPACT) in order to bring together all stakeholders on the global level to fight counterfeit medical products. IMPACT requested WHPA to develop a toolkit for health professionals and patients.

Accordingly we have developed this toolkit to assist dentists, nurses, pharmacists and physicians to tackle counterfeit medicines in your daily practice.

The kit includes:

  • An overview of the situation and suggestions as to what health professionals can do to help fight counterfeit medicines
  • A reporting form that can be copied and used to report any suspected counterfeit (This form serves as a model and does not replace any existing ones in-country)
  • A visual inspection check list that can be used if a counterfeit medicine is suspected
  • An information leaflet that you can share with colleagues
  • A patient information leaflet for distribution to patients or in community areas
  • A poster that can be put in waiting rooms

We encourage health professionals to use any or all documents as they judge appropriate and to share these with colleagues in the effort to raise awareness. Thank you for joining the World Health Professions Alliance in the fight against counterfeit medicines.