New Machines to Test for Fake Medicine
The Ministry of Interior’s Counter Counterfeit Committee received two state-of-the art machines yesterday from the United Nations Office for Project Services (UNOPS) in an effort to reduce the circulation of fake medicine in the Kingdom.
The machines will be placed at the ministry and used to investigate if suspect medicine is real.
Miech Sophanna, an undersecretary of state at the ministry and head of the committee, said the machines would help law enforcement officers easily check for fake products.
“The receipt of two modern machines to check fake medicine today truly benefits the Ministry of Interior as well as relevant ministries within the framework of the Counter Counterfeit Committee for training law enforcement officials in testing medicine quality,” he said.
“The government as well as the Ministry of Interior pays close attention to the prevention, containment and crackdown of the circulation of fake products, including fake medicine. That’s why UNOPS gave the two diagnostic machines as per the committee’s request.”
In its operations against counterfeit products to date, some clinics have been shut down and tons of fake drugs have been destroyed. Often the owners of the products fled to avoid punishment.
Health Minister Mam Bun Heng, who was present at the handover ceremony yesterday, asked law enforcement officers to make use of the machines and also asked that the owners of the fake products be held accountable.
“It is up to the Ministry of Interior to make judgment on fake products. I request that ministry officials confiscate fake products including medicine and not only that, but also arrest the people responsible,” he said.
“The medicine will be burned and the people should be punished to discourage them from doing it again,” he added, citing previous cases in which the owners fled and left only the products.
Dr. Bun Heng suggested the machines be used often so law enforcement officers would be familiar with their operation.
“They need to be used and should be tried at the shops around Central Market maybe tomorrow. If not, it won’t be effective. Like having a gun, you need to learn to fire it or it will be useless,” he said, noting that honest shop owners should be happy to have their products tested.
Hubert Staberhofer, the director of UNOPS Cambodia, said selling fake goods was a profitable business and affected many aspects of life.
“The profession and selling of counterfeit goods is a global multibillion-dollar business. It affects many parts of life including the food we eat, the medicine we take and the means we travel,” he said.
“One government alone cannot resolve this. It needs cooperation of all sectors: the state, society, development partners and the private sector.
“We would like to support the Ministry of Interior and the Ministry of Health and its partners in the relentless fight against such criminal activities.”
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