Fight against piracy is insufficient, says minister


O Globo Online - 18/10/2011

The fight against piracy in the country is below what is necessary, according to the Brazilian government itself. The deficiency was pointed out by the Minister of Justice, José Eduardo Cardozo, when commenting on the challenges to curb activities such as counterfeiting and smuggling during the seminar “Informality and its impacts on society”, held yesterday at the headquarters of GLOBO by the Pharmaceutical Industry Association Research (Interfarma).

- We already have a great synergy between Anvisa (National Health Surveillance Agency), the Ministry (of Justice), the Federal Police and several government agencies. We have positive results, but they are still far from what is desired and necessary - he declared.

According to the minister, when piracy affects the production of medicines, the harmful effects of informality affect not only the economy, but also the health of the country.

Cardozo also stressed the need to protect borders and invest in educational actions with the population:

- We need to identify, for example, why Brazilians buy a pirate medicine, and do a job of raising awareness about the risks of this habit.

Most of the event's debates focused on this area, which had worrying data revealed by the survey “Informality in the purchase of prescription drugs”, ordered by Interfarma from Ibope. In the survey, 6% of Brazilians admit buying medicine from street vendors. In the North Region, however, the percentage goes up to 18%. The survey also showed that a fifth of respondents admitted to buying medicines without a prescription, which is even more common in capitals and the Northeast.

- A country in which 70% of medicines are sold without a prescription is more vulnerable to the sale of medicines of dubious origin. From our apprehensions, we realized that most of these drugs reach consumers through pharmacies. It is common to find stolen cargo and counterfeit drugs in these establishments - said the director-president of Anvisa, Dirceu Barbano, about another data of the research.

According to him, the remedies that suffer the most counterfeiting in Brazil are those that fight erectile dysfunction, in addition to anabolic steroids, slimming pills, abortion drugs and herbal medicines.

For the executive president of Interfarma, Antônio Britto, there is a lack of clarification for the population and greater inspection structure at Anvisa and other government agencies:

- Each has done his part. The problem is that the sum of what Anvisa and the ministry can do is little compared to what is necessary.

Barbano admitted that there is a shortage of staff, especially in the intelligence sector: - These crimes often occur in an organized environment. Dealing with the smuggler in a country that has 17 thousand kilometers of border requires a lot of intelligence work. We also want to complete the project that will allow us to track each medicine package until the consumer arrives.

It will have codes that absorb information along the drug's production chain.

According to the president of the National Forum against Piracy and Illegality, Edson Vismona, Brazil fails to raise R $ 40 billion a year as a result of counterfeiting and smuggling.

During the seminar, Senator Humberto Costa (PT-PE) presented his bills to curb the falsification of medicines in the country.