Medicrime - A new international treaty

Blimey! Did you know there is no international treaty relating to the manufacture and sale of counterfeit medical products?

I mean seriously, there are international treaties on the thickness of custard, the transparency of maple syrup and the fruit content of chunky marmalade, but when it comes to knocking out a few million fake aspirin or several thousand ineffective flu vaccinations - no treaty - despite the fact that whilst not enough chunks in the marmalade may come as a disappointment, it is hardly likely to have the possibly severe effects on my health as popping a few headache pills to find the tablet has not cured the headache but burned a whole through my stomach lining.

That is not to say that counterfeiting of any kind is not illegal in most countries, of course it is, but international treaties tend to focus the minds of those in certain affected governmental departments. It is one thing to let the local population down, but quite another to let treaty partners down as you next position may be in a supra-structure working with those international partners you let down. The shame, the dent to the ego, the weakened position you would start from if you had not taken such an international treaty seriously when it fell within your remit!

Well, now there is an international treaty on medicrime. It is at least international in as much as there are several nations signed up to it, including Ukraine. Quite why all the Council of Europe nations did not sign up to it remains unclear. You would think any Europol and Interpol friendly nation would have an interest in a treaty dealing with the national and international health when it comes to fake pills claiming to have a trusted provenance crossing borders and funding organised crime.

Why then are there so few signatories to this treaty?