Combatting Counterfeit Medications in South and Central Asia

In November 2014, Meridian International Center arranged a regional professional exchange program for eight senior-level government regulators from South and Central Asia to examine best practices in combating counterfeit medications. The program was a partnership between the U.S. State Department’s Bureau of Oceans and International Environmental and Scientific Affairs (OES) and the Office of International Health and Biodefense (IHB). One country-representative from Afghanistan, Bangladesh, Bhutan, India, Kazakhstan, Kyrgyzstan, Pakistan, and Nepal participated in the exchange. The program provided a critical opportunity for these countries to develop more effective national and cross-regional strategies for prevention and regulation of a growing counterfeit and substandard medications (CSM) industry that continues to harm local and international economies, healthcare industries, and citizen health.

The one week program in Washington, DC exposed visitors, who play key roles in their countries’ drug administration, to the best practices and latest technologies employed by the public and private sectors in the U.S. to combat counterfeit drugs. Visitors also developed better relationships with U.S. counterparts that will help sustain a global response to the CSM issue. The program facilitated and strengthened communication and information sharing across country borders to produce a more unified and robust response to CSM distribution.

In meetings with U.S. government officials, academics, public health practitioners, and private and NGO sector representatives, participants examined the following themes:

  • Quality control and monitoring of pharmaceutical manufacturers
  • Supply chain and distribution network integrity and monitoring
  • Detection of CSMs
  • Public awareness campaigns; local and global awareness
  • Health implications of CSM use and their impact on the health system
  • Investigation and Prosecution of CSM manufacturers and distribution networks
  • Coordination between government, the public and private sector in carrying out effective drug regulation programs
  • Sustainable drug regulation mechanisms and method
  • Cross-border collaboration and communication on drug regulation issues



U.S. Department of State

Project summary

Combatting Counterfeit Medications in South and Central Asia | November 2014
Number of Visitors: 8
Regions: South and Central Asia
Countries: Afghanistan, Bangladesh, Bhutan, India, Kazakhstan, Kyrgyzstan, Pakistan, Nepal
Impact Areas: Business and Trade, Global Health
Program Areas: Global Leadership
Partners: Public Sector