• Blog Post

Merck KGaA, Darmstadt, Germany, actively fights falsified medicines

Publish Date

02 DEC 2019


Merck KGaA, Darmstadt, Germany, through its Global Health Institute and Merck KGaA, Darmstadt, Germany, Philippines, was on the leading seat during panel discussions at the “National Consciousness Week Against Counterfeit Medicines” in Manila during the week of November 18, 2019

Falsified medicines expose millions of people to dangerous conditions that can lead to death.  Substandard and falsified medicines are fake medical products that are designed to mimic real medicines but may not contain the right dose or type of medicine. Latest figures refer to around 1 million deaths per year due to the use of ineffective and/or toxic products.

In the last decades, Merck KGaA, Darmstadt, Germany, has been active in the fight against falsified medicines through the Global Pharma Health Fund Minilab (GPHF-Minilab™), a portable mini-laboratory for drug quality verification and counterfeit medicines detection through a semiquantitative method, totally funded by Merck KGaA, Darmstadt, Germany,.

More recently, Merck KGaA, Darmstadt, Germany, through its Global Health Institute, has been exploring new complementary technologies against falsified medicines, particularly for antimalarials and antimicrobials. Since 2018, the Institute has partnered with the Boston University to test, validate and optimize PharmaChk, a new user-friendly technology to qualitatively and quantitatively assess the validity of drugs.

“This portable tool is intended for developing countries and adapted to medicines, authorities and supply chain end-users like: pharmacies, wholesalers and health centers“ said Prof. Zaman, Professor of Biomedical Engineering and International Health at Boston University. “PharmaChk is an affordable medicine testing option that requires minimal user training“, he added.

“We see a potential that this technology might go from prototype to an affordable and accurate field device in a couple of years“ said Nuno Martins, Leader of this program and Diagnostic Manager at the Global Health Institute of Merck KGaA, Darmstadt, Germany.

“We are proud to have joined forces with academia for investing in technologies that might help assuring drug quality and preventing drug resistance“ added Beatrice Greco, Head of R&D & Access at the Global Health Institute.

This technology was on the agenda of the „National Consciousness Week against Counterfeit Medicines“ held during the week of November 18 in the Philippines. Demos and presentations to local regulators at events in Manila allowed to provide comprehensive information on the innovative tool.

“We are thrilled to have partnered with Merck KGaA, Darmstadt, Germany, and its partners in the Philippines and in Southeast Asia. The challenge of poor quality and counterfeit medicines is acute and leads to loss of vulnerable lives, adds to the burden of antibiotic resistance and creates a substantial financial burden for individuals and the public health system as a whole.“ said Prof. Zaman. “Merck KGaA, Darmstadt, Germany’s extensive expertise, and experience in the region, along with partnership with local government and regional bodies provides us with an unparalleled opportunity to understand the local challenges and create innovative, high impact solutions to comprehensively tackle the issue of substandard, falsified and counterfeit medicines and save vulnerable lives“ he added.

Also, during this awareness week, the Global Health Institute and Merck KGaA, Darmstadt, Germany, Philippines strongly engaged together with its partner, local regulatory representatives and governmental officials in this campaign against counterfeited drugs.

At the Multi-Sectoral Summit in Manila on November 21, Ramonito Tampos, President and Managing Director of Merck KGaA, Darmstadt, Germany, in the Philippines, presented about Merck KGaA, Darmstadt, Germany, the Institute and the technologies to detect falsified medicines on which the Company is working.

“My presentation at the summit was a great opportunity to highlight Merck KGaA, Darmstadt, Germany—its global and local history, its reputation as a responsible global science and technology company, and its great interest, involvement, and action towards anti-counterfeit practices—to various stakeholders,” said Ramonito Tampos. “Our local team with the Global Health Institute has been proud to support this awareness initiative, which has allowed us to engage local regulators and enhance our corporate image,” he added.

Thanks to this initiative, Merck KGaA, Darmstadt, Germany, continues to be positioned as a leading and reliable partner for improving health for all.