The Peterson Med Group

Indonesia to Open Hotline for Counterfeiting Complaints

Indonesia’s Food and Drug Monitoring Agency (Badan Pengawas Obat dan Makanan – BPOM) has set their own special hotline for people to “reach out and report counterfeiting”, as first reported by Jakarta Post.

It has been a long time since we last heard of some news of Indonesia fighting against counterfeiting but we all know they have been keeping a strict watch over drug smugglers and fraudsters. Earlier this year, the country has once again proven that they have been cautious by executing the Bali Nine drug syndicates. And they have assured everyone they will be keeping a watchful eye by allowing their citizens to take part in punishing the individuals operating illegally.

It can be remembered that BPOM has also been actively presiding the arrests and raids on possible counterfeiters’ hideouts. Recently, with the help of the local police force, they were able to take hold of RP 31million ($2.6 million) dollar worth of illegal and dangerous drugs. The medicines are without labels but are suspected to be antibiotic drugs and were confiscated and sent to the lab for chemical testing and ingredient identification.

The Peterson Group, a non-profit organization campaigning against the proliferation of counterfeited medicines has interviewed several ordinary citizens on their take on the hotline provided for reporting. Most of them were pleased but there are still others who do not care. Many people are pessimistic about it, stating that it wouldn’t last long. Soon, the quality of responses to these text messages would lessen.

BPOM head Roy Saringga also acknowledged that the agency and the government may have limited sources and capabilities to counter the worsening case of counterfeiting in the country and that they have inadequate expertise and technology to monitor every day transactions and trace whereabouts as wells as on how these counterfeiters can easily come and go from island to island without being detected. Nevertheless, they are doing their best to take action in this issue and also left a warning to the fraudsters on the possible consequences of their illegal rigor.

The internet is also one of the medium of scammers into luring citizens to trying their products. The open hotline would be available to anyone and in any witness or claim of fraudulent counterfeiting, be it online or from direct selling.

Indonesia is among the list of the world’s worst counterfeiters as per the US report 2015. The authorities are hoping to take their name off it step by step.