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Why and How to Make an International Crime of Medicine Counterfeiting

Journal of International Criminal Justice, pp. 1-30, 2011

30 Pages Posted: 5 Aug 2010 Last revised: 24 Jun 2013

Amir Attaran

University of Ottawa - Department of Epidemiology and Community Medicine; University of Ottawa - Common Law Section

Roger Bate

American Enterprise Institute (AEI)

Megan Kendall

University of Ottawa - Faculty of Law

Date Written: 2011

Abstract

Although counterfeit medicines are a global problem, which sicken or kill at least thousands of people a year, currently international law does not even attempt to criminalize their manufacture or trade as it does currency (i.e. money) counterfeiting - a serious and inexplicable omission. In this paper, we summarize the current medical and public health evidence that counterfeit medicines are a serious danger to human well-being, and we review legal doctrines from treaties on other subjects and from the jurisprudence on crimes against humanity to argue that a treaty to criminalize acts associated with counterfeit medicines is both timely and possible. We argue that such a treaty should be negotiated under the auspices of the World Health Organization, and present a practical review of how this could be achieved.

Suggested Citation

Attaran, Amir and Bate, Roger and Kendall, Megan, Why and How to Make an International Crime of Medicine Counterfeiting (2011). Journal of International Criminal Justice, pp. 1-30, 2011. Available at SSRN: https://ssrn.com/abstract=1652909

Amir Attaran (Contact Author)

University of Ottawa - Department of Epidemiology and Community Medicine ( email )

451 Smyth Road
Ottawa, Ontario K1H 8M5
Canada

University of Ottawa - Common Law Section ( email )

57 Louis Pasteur Street
Ottawa, K1N 6N5
Canada
613-562-5800 ext: 2015 (Phone)
613-562-5659 (Fax)

Roger Bate

American Enterprise Institute (AEI) ( email )

1150 17th Street, N.W.
Washington, DC 20036
United States

Megan Kendall

University of Ottawa - Faculty of Law ( email )

57 Louis Pasteur Street
Ottawa, Ontario K1N 6N5
Canada

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