Archive for May 2009

Mile High Warnings of Counterfeit Drugs

It’s happening all the time. Nearly every day, there are new reports of counterfeit drugs flooding the world’s prescription drug market. Just last week, the Partnership for Safe Medicines posted a link about how counterfeit drugs are hastening drug-resistant strains of malaria. And the week before, we shared the news reports out of the United Kingdom about a raid on an Irish counterfeit drug distribution operation and the MHRA’s recall due to possible counterfeit inhalers found in the U.K. supply system.

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Cheerios… A Threat Larger Than Counterfeit Drugs?

On May 5, the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) administered a warning against General Mills regarding the claim that Cheerios® Toasted Whole Grain Oat Cereal has the ability to lower cholesterol. Basically, the FDA cited General Mills for marketing Cheerios® as a cholesterol-reducing drug. I believe the FDA’s points are valid and factual, but I have to ask – Shouldn’t our agency watchdog be focusing greater attention on the operators of thousands of Web sites and

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Is Drug Safety in the U.S. Moving in the Right Direction?

Protecting the public’s health is an important part of the part of the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) job. And on May 7, the FDA proposed several measures that would allow the agency to better regulate the safety of Americans’ food and medical products. The FDA request for the President’s fiscal year 2010 budget asks for $3.2 billion to protect and promote public health. This figure, which is a 19 percent increase from the current FDA fiscal year budget, is a significant step towards the direction of a safer pharmaceutical supply chain.

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Dr. Bayardo Cruz Pleads Guilty in California Fake IUD Case

Dr. Bayardo Cruz pleaded guilty to purchasing imported Mexican IUDs from a company called Universal Services. These devices cost $30 each, a substantial discount from the FDA approved versions, which ranged from $300 – $400 each. Cruz inserted 110 of the black market IUDs in his patients, but continued to bill Medi-Cal for the legitimate…

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Counterfeit Insulin Needles Found in the UK

Counterfeit Insulin Needles Found in UK View Larger Map What: A batch of counterfeit insulin pen needles emulating those made by Novo Nordisk were discovered in the United Kingdom. According to the Juvenile Diabetes Research Foundation in England, “the needles were not made by Novo Nordisk, the manufacturer of NovoFine® and do not comply with…

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Counterfeit ‘Lifestyle’ Drugs Uncovered in Indonesia

Counterfeit ‘Lifestyle’ Drugs Uncovered in Indonesia View Larger Map What: Counterfeit drugs, including antibiotics, contraceptives and blood pressure medications were seized in Indonesia. Counterfeit lifestyle drugs including whitening creams and erectile dysfunction medications were also found. When: March 17, 2009 Where: Towns across the islands of Java and Sumatra in Indonesia. Additional details: The Jakarta…

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Southern California Oncologist Convicted in Cancer Drug Importation Scheme

In May 2009, Dr. Vinod Patwardhan, an oncologist working in Upland and Chino, California, was found guilty by a jury of smuggling foreign, misbranded cancer drugs into the United States and administering them to his patients. Between 2004 and 2008, Patwardhan purchased $1.3 million worth of injectable cancer drugs from foreign sources. He and his…

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Gautam CS, Utreja A, Singal GL. Spurious and counterfeit drugs: a growing industry in the developing world. Postgrad Med J. 2009;85(1003):251-6.

Spread of spurious/counterfeit/substandard drugs is a modern day menace which has been recognised internationally, especially so in developing countries. The problem assumes added significance in view of rapid globalisation. The market of spurious and counterfeit drugs is a well-organised, white collar crime. Poverty, high cost of medicines, lack of an official supply chain, legislative lacunae,…

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How Internet Search Engines Support Illegal Online Drug Sales

Did you know that Internet search engines, such as Google and Yahoo, claim to verify online pharmacies through PharmacyChecker.com? But what good does it do? This site provides little to no security about the legitimacy of Internet drug sellers. Rogue online pharmacies continue to profit from the sale of counterfeit drugs, and at the same time Internet search engines profit from the advertisements on these non-verified pharmacies’ Web sites. Even more alarming is that Internet search engines are in no way held accountable for hosting and profiting off “online pharmacies” who distribute counterfeit drugs.

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