State Leadership is Critical in Protecting U.S. Drug Supply

SAN ANTONIO, Dec. 7 /PRNewswire/ — The National Association of Boards of
Pharmacy (NABP) warned state legislators from across the country about the
growing risk of counterfeit drugs on our nation's drug supply at a forum
today. The forum was part of the National Conference of State Legislatures (NCSL)'s
fall meeting, which provides a variety of services to help lawmakers tailor
policies that will work for their states and their constituents.

The issue
of prescription drug counterfeiting is a growing public health challenge, and
is of particular concern to Americans who obtain their prescription drugs from
the internet. According to the World Health Organization, up to 10% of the
global medicine supply is counterfeit. In addition, the Food and Drug
Administration (FDA) reported the number of fraudulent prescription drugs
intercepted by customs officials nearly doubled between 2004 and 2005.

"As the international association that assists state boards of pharmacy in
protecting the public health, NABP believes it is essential that state
legislatures take the lead in safeguarding their citizens from this growing
epidemic," said Carmen Catizone, MS, RPh, DPh, Executive Director for NABP.
"While this issue is a growing problem, there are steps states can take to
stem the tide of dangerous counterfeits."

As part of the forum, NABP discussed the importance of enacting legislation
to protect consumers from fake pharmaceuticals. NABP advocates passing laws
requiring drug wholesalers to complete background checks before receiving
licenses and creating mandatory pedigrees, which are documented paper trails
that track every transaction after a drug leaves the normal distribution chain
and before it reaches the pharmacist.

Currently, the ability of law enforcement agencies to detect and prosecute
counterfeits is low. The variety of fraudulent drugs ranges from crude
mixtures of glue, chalk and sugar to nearly exact chemical replicas of complex
pharmaceuticals. Because these drugs are neither properly produced nor
regulated, it's nearly impossible for consumers to know exactly what they are

"It is estimated the counterfeit drug business could grow into a $75
billion worldwide industry by 2010 unless governments, professional groups,
and patients respond effectively to this threat," said Catizone. "Currently,
more than 14 states have passed legislation aimed at curbing the prevalence of
counterfeits. I look forward to working with other states to enact similar
legislation to protect their citizens and more broadly, the U.S. drug supply."

According to the World Health Organization, an estimated $35 billion of
counterfeit drugs are sold around the world each year. For more information on
counterfeit drugs, please visit

The National Association of Boards of Pharmacy (NABP) was founded in 1904
and represents all of the pharmacy regulatory and licensing jurisdictions in
the United States, the District of Columbia, Puerto Rico, Guam, the Virgin
Islands, eight provinces of Canada, two Australian States, New Zealand, and
South Africa. Its purpose is to serve as the independent, international, and
impartial Association that assists its member boards and jurisdictions in
developing, implementing, and enforcing uniform standards for the purpose of
protecting the public health.


Source: National Association of Boards of

07 December 2006

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