Intended to combat the infringment of medical products and to protect public health, the Medicrime Convention entered into force on 1 January 2016.

It is the first legally binding international Treaty, drawn up by the Council of Europe in 2010. Its purpose is to specifically fight against the false and counterfeiting health products. The aim of this tool, which is open to the entire international community, is to criminalise not only counterfeit but also the manufacture and distribution of medical products in a broad way. Its scope covers: originators and generic medicines, health products in general, medical devices and accessories, active substances, excipients, and even the elements and materials intended to be used in the manufacture of medical products. In addition to criminal penalties, it also includes preventative and protection measures for the victims.

To date, 20 countries have signed the Convention, including France. Its entry into force was subject to ratification by a minimum of 5 countries including at least 3 Member States of the Council of Europe. This has now been accomplished: it entered into force on 1st January 2016 in the 5 States that have ratified it (4 European countries and a nonmember State): Ukraine, Spain, Hungary, Moldova and Guinea, and will be joined by Armenia on 1st June this year.

The ratification process is currently underway in France and should be completed by mid2016. Let's hope that the other signatory countries quickly ratify the convention!