Archive for February 2013

UK’s Medicine Regulatory Agency Warns of Dangerous Ingredients in Herbal Remedies

On February 19th, 2013 the United Kingdom’s Medicines and Healthcare products Regulatory Agency (MHRA) posted a press release warning of dangerous heavy metal contamination in unlicensed Chinese herbal medications produced in Hong Kong and sold internationally online. The herbal compounds are reported to contain mercury and lead, which can lead to health side-effects ranging from dizziness to kidney and brain damage, reports the MHRA.

The MHRA, which is the UK counterpart to the US Food and Drug Administration (FDA), states that the following products: “Bak Foong Pills – used to relieve menstrual discomfort, Fung Shing Paij Tian-Ma Wan – used to relieve arthritis and headaches, and Shi Hu Ye Guang Wan and Nai Chang Ming Yan Pills – both used to improve vision in adults” are all contaminated with either lead or mercury.

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Avoid the Top 3 “Natural” Products That Threaten Your Heart

Before buying the next miracle cure for weight loss, joint pain, or intestinal distress, ask yourself, is it heart-smart to take a dietary supplement you know nothing about?

Heart disease is the number one cause of death in the US for both men and women.

In the last few years, some truly unexpected drug compounds that cause heart ailments have turned up in herbal dietary supplements despite claims to be “safe and all natural.” To honor American Heart Month, take the pledge to guard your heart by being a smart shopper and only taking dietary supplements when you know the ingredients are safe.

Learn more about the top three herbal supplement ingredients that are neither natural nor herbal.

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Portguese National Sentenced to 44 Months in Jail after $2.4 Million Worth of Unlicensed and Class C Drugs Seized by MHRA

View larger map Mahomed Bacai, a Portuguese national living in the United Kingdom, was sentenced to 44 months in prison for running an illegal mail order drug business out of his home. The investigation conducted by the Medicine Healthcare Regulatory Agency (MHRA) resulted in the seizure of approximately £1.6 million worth of unlicensed, prescription-only-medicines and…

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Institute of Medicine Releases Report on Falsified and Substandard Drugs

On February 13, 2013, the Institute of Medicine (IOM) released
their report, “Countering the Problem of Falsified and Substandard Drugs” that
reviews the current state of substandard and falsified drugs globally, and offers
a series of recommendations to combat drug falsification and to encourage
global cooperation on drug safety.

Food and Drug Administration Commissioner Dr. Margaret
Hamburg commends the FDA commissioned report because it “spotlights a critical global public health
issue. Falsified and substandard medicines adversely affect the lives of
millions around the world, and the issue must be elevated to the highest levels
of international discourse.”

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Partnership for Safe Medicines India Rolls Out Drug Verification Project for Patients

On February 15, 2013 at the India Habitat Centre in New Delhi, the Partnership for Safe Medicines India proposed an initiative “to study the extent of spurious and not-of-standard medicines in India and adopt policies to ensure safety and quality in the supply chain.”

An unprecedented pilot program supported by the PSM India will provide low-cost medicine evaluation for patients at accredited government approved laboratories. The goal of the pilot program is to “establish trust on the quality and existing regulatory standards between the manufacturers and the consumers,” said P. D. Sheth, VP, International Pharmaceutical Federation.

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Shri Keshav Desiraju

Shri Keshav Desiraju, Secretary, Health and Family Welfare, Govt. of India delivering Inaugural Address at the Open House Consultation on Accessibility to Safe and Quality Medicines in the Supply Chain in India in New Delhi February 15, 2013.

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Brother of Lebanese State Minister Arrested in Counterfeit Drugs Case

View in larger map Abdul Latif Fneish, the brother of Lebanese Minister of State for Administrative Affairs, Mohammad Fneish, has had an arrest warrant issued against him in Lebanon as a result of his links to counterfeit drug importation. In November 2012, Abdul Latif was linked via media reports to the forging of laboratory test…

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New Counterfeit Avastin Found – Medical Practitioners Advised by FDA to Be Wary of Unfamiliar Wholesalers

Breaking News: US Food and Drug Administration (FDA) has identified a third batch of counterfeit cancer medication in the United States. On February 5, 2013, the FDA posted a health practitioner warning about this latest counterfeit version of the cancer treatment Avastin.

According to the FDA “lab tests have confirmed that at least one batch of a counterfeit version of Roche’s Altuzan distributed in the United States contains no active ingredient.” The counterfeit drugs allegedly have been distributed by New York-based supplier, Medical Device King/Pharmalogical, reports the FDA warning. This is the first time a US drug supplier has been implicated in the distribution of counterfeit cancer drugs.

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Influenza Outbreaks Inspire Drug Counterfeiters to Exploit Anxious Populace

7,224 hospitalizations for laboratory-confirmed flu cases have occurred in the United States since October 1, 2012, according to the US Centers for Disease Control (CDC) Weekly Flu Update. Additionally, a January 25th CDC news release reports that influenza infection rates have been running at least 2 percentage points above epidemic classification for the past three weeks. While the CDC and other public health entities are encouraging consumers to be vaccinated, drug counterfeiters look at the US flu epidemic as a cash-making opportunity, warns the US Food and Drug Administration (FDA).

The FDA’s February 1 consumer update warns “As the flu continues to make people sick—and even cause deaths—scammers are alive and well, promoting their fraudulent products to the unsuspecting public.”

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