Insight: Fight the Fakes x Noor Patel

Fight the Fakes is a global campaign aimed at a global problem. Our goal is to raise awareness about the pressing issue of falsified medicines. Why is this such a big issue? Unofficial medical products may be substandard and contain an insufficient dose of the active ingredient, contain the incorrect active ingredient or even none at all. Consequently, patient’s, including you and me, are at the end of this illegal, brutal trade that risks the development of drug resistant strains of infections or even in some extreme cases death. In particular, subtherapeutic dosing of antimicrobial agents is a big driver of the rising resistance we are witnessing and therefore the fight against fake medicines is crucial.

We were thrilled that UCL became the first educational institution to officially partner with Fight the Fakes and every year since have been working hard to develop our campaign. Through excellent teamwork and collaboration between our committee and academic lead Oksana Pyzik we orchestrated a successful series of events that spanned across Fight the Fakes week. Each day was jam packed with exceptional speakers delivering presentations that educated our audiences on topics surrounding this issue. With the help of our very own Dr Stephen Hilton and his team from the UCL School of Pharmacy we showcased 3D printing technologies to our fellow students and researchers. RPS Chief Scientist Professor Gino Martini came to discuss the roll out of the EU Falsified Medicines Directive that came into place from the 9th of February 2019. This final part of the Directive includes the new safety features that comprise of a unique identifier as well as tamper evident features across all packs. These are just some of the remarkable speakers who worked with us to share their involvement with the campaigns goal.

In the run up to the week each member of the committee from events officers to social media managers worked exceptionally hard to execute a week of interactive and informative sessions for everyone to enjoy. This meant liaising with guest speakers, brainstorming future plans and creating promotional content to spread the word with the goal in mind each year to reach more people than the last.

As a group of pharmacy students, we are passionate in ensuring we can fulfil our role to provide safe and efficacious medicines to patients. Though it is a global crisis we must play our part and inform the public about the existence of fake medicines and how to practice safe online pharmacy. Visit us across our social media platforms to stay updated with our events Instagram: @uclfightsfakes Twitter: @uclfightsfakes Facebook: @UCLFightTheFakes and our blog on WordPress UCLfightsfakes. Are you part of an organisation and interested in becoming a partner? Contact info@fightthefakes.org. Progress has been phenomenal and through such endeavours we can work together to make a positive impact.

This article was written by

Noor Patel

Recommended

'The best decision of my university life'

Surviving the preregistration year; lessons from black preregistration pharmacists.