The Committee on Foreign Affairs ("Committee") in Turkey's Grand National Assembly recently discussed a Draft Law regarding Approval of the Council of Europe Convention on the Counterfeiting of Medical Products and Similar Crimes Involving Threats to Public Health ("Convention"). The Convention specifies certain acts as crimes, protects victims' rights, as well as encourages national and international co-operation. When the draft Law is approved, the Convention will enter into force in Turkey.

The Convention defines "medical product" as including medicinal products and medical devices. It applies to generics, as well as irrespective of whether a medical product is protected by intellectual property rights.

The Convention defines the following as crimes:

  • Manufacturing counterfeits and/or adulterations of products.
  • Supplying, offering to supply, and trafficking in counterfeits.
  • Falsifying documents.
  • Unauthorized manufacturing, keeping stock for supply, importing, exporting, supplying, offering to supply, or placing on the market of medicinal products.
  • Commercial use of original documents outside their intended use within the legal medical product supply chain.
  • Aiding, abetting, or attempting any of the crimes outlined in the Convention.

The Convention introduces criminal liability for natural persons and legal entities. Criminal actions based on these crimes would not require complaints by victims or third parties.

The Convention outlines imprisonment for manufacturing, supplying and trafficking counterfeits. It also contemplates confiscation of products and documents which are subject to the crimes (or used in the crimes), as well as revenues obtained as a result of crimes.

The Convention suggests preventive measures, including regulations on quality and security specifications, creating awareness, as well as providing education.

The Convention suggests measures to protect victims. These include helping victims to access information on relevant issues, supporting recovery and criminal actions, as well as providing a right to claim compensation.

The Convention would constitute a legal basis for extradition and mutual legal assistance if compatibility issues arise between domestic legislation.

Please see this link for the full text of the Convention.

Information first published in the MA | Gazette, a fortnightly legal update newsletter produced by Moroğlu Arseven.

The content of this article is intended to provide a general guide to the subject matter. Specialist advice should be sought about your specific circumstances.