“Ensure that health and medicine remain above political abuse.”
Paris, 4 July 2013
In a letter to Luc Besançon, General Secretary/CEO of the International Pharmaceutical Federation, the Simon Wiesenthal Director for International Relations, Dr. Shimon Samuels, exposed a “’France-Palestine Solidarity’ boycott campaign against the Israeli generic pharmaceutical company, TEVA.”
Samuels noted that “TEVA was first targeted for boycott in my presence at a meeting of the United Nations Committee for the Exercise of the Inalienable Rights of the Palestinian People at the Food and Agriculture Organization (FAO) in Rome 27-28 February, 2013.”
The letter explained that, “reportedly, a FPS spokesman, Jacques Jakubowicz, has sent letters to pharmacies in Paris suburbs demanding that they discontinue sale of TEVA medicines, based on charges against the company that its drug Furosemide contained a soporific. Tests on recalled products have now disproved the charges and TEVA has been vindicated by a French court.”
Samuels added that “the outrageous FPS order, signed by Jakubowicz, goes on to explain that the campaign is based solely upon the company’s Israeli identity.”
The Centre pointed out that “as a federation of 127 national associations of pharmacists and pharmaceutical scientists, serving over three million practitioners around the world, in official relations with the World Health Organization and UNESCO, your stated mission is to ‘Improve global health by advancing pharmacy practice and science to enable better discovery, development, access to and safe use of appropriate, cost-effective, quality medicines worldwide’, continuing,“your 1997 ‘Vancouver Statement on Pharmacists’ Product Selection and Generic Substitutes’ is based solely on quality of the product.”
Samuels emphasized that “our Centre does not promote TEVA over any other generic producer, but we emphatically oppose the politicization of medicine. Perhaps France-Palestine-Solidarity has not yet dared to order Palestinians and other Arabs to boycott Israeli hospitals, for fear of rejection, as these patients —and even Syrians wounded in the current civil war—stream to Israel's medical facilities for treatment.”
The Centre called on the International Pharmaceutical Federation to “vigorously condemn the FPS boycott campaign and, thereby, ensure that health and medicine remain above any political conflict in whatever region of the world.”
“The boycott of TEVA is so redolent of the Nazi campaign, “Kaufen Nicht bei Juden” (“Do Not Buy from Jews”). What began with boycott ended with genocide and the deaths of over sixty million in Europe and beyond. It should also be noted that the current boycott of Israeli products arguably violates anti-discrimination provisions of the European Union”, concluded Samuels.
The letter was shared with Dr. Isabelle Adenot, President of the Ordre des Pharmaciens de France.