Drug Marketing in Guatemala Regulated

The new law punishes the distribution and marketing of counterfeit medicines with sentences of one to ten years.

Friday, December 9, 2011

A press release by the Government of the Republic of Guatemala reads.

This Friday (December 9, 2011) Legislative Decree 28-2011 was published in the Official Journal describing the law on combating the production and marketing of counterfeit drugs, adulterated drugs, counterfeit pharmaceuticals, and forged medical devices and surgical materials.

The law punishes the distribution and marketing of counterfeit or forged drugs, pharmaceuticals, surgical devices and medical supplies, with sentences of one to ten years, even murder charges if a patient should lose their life because of these products.

This arrangement uses articles from the Health and Criminal Codes to punish these illegal activities which in Guatemala are prevalent in street trade, where future victims look for cheaper health products.

It will be the responsibility of the Ministry of Health to determine whether licensed health establishments: manufacture, store, market or sell counterfeit goods, in which case they must revoke the license and file a complaint with the Public Ministry.

The penalties for these kind of crimes range from one to ten years in prison. Commercial establishments will lose their sanitary license, public officials will be sanctioned more heavily and professionals will also have their license withdrawn.

The development and marketing of foodstuffs that are hazardous to health will be punished with imprisonment of between one and five years.

More on this topic

Medicines: Changes Approved in Panamanian Market

October 2019

In the third debate, the Assembly approved a bill establishing that the government may make exceptions to the sanitary registration of pharmaceutical products in situations of critical shortage.

At the same time, it empowers the Ministry of Health to purchase medicines under the criteria established by the World Health Organization (WHO), which will allow that when local agents do not participate in the sale, it will be possible to go through international agents, informed the National Assembly on October 3.

Costa Rica: Counterfeit Clothing

April 2017

In 2014 a special unit was created to deal with complaints about the marketing of fake garments, and since then it has received an average of five complaints a month.

The market for fake clothing brands in the country has been growing, according to the authorities at the Economic, Tax and Customs Crimes Prosecutor's office, which claims to receive five complaints per month.

Panama is Also Hub for Counterfeits

October 2012

The National Customs Authority reported that in the first eight months of 2012 counterfeit goods worth more than $55 million were detected and seized.

The amount of decommissioned goods was $41 million more than in 2011 and triple that seized in 2010. 95% of the seized merchandise comes from China.

US asks for Central American support for medicines

June 2008

The United States has asked for the support of Central American governments to ensure security in the production of medicines and processed foods.

The American request will be made formally during a visit to Panama City of U.S. Health Secretary Michael Leavitt next Thursday. He plans to meet with directors of the Health Ministry as well as customs agents and representatives of the pharmaceutical industry.

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