Currently, the United States has one of the safest drug supplies in the world because its pharmaceutical supply system is “closed” to importation. Once a drug is outside the strictly regulated distribution channel, there is no guarantee of its authenticity, effectiveness, or safety. We know from the recent incident in China of the deliberately contaminated milk and baby formula. This tragedy caused thousands of babies to be sick and so far has caused four deaths. Poorly regulated environments allow counterfeiters and unscrupulous sellers to thrive.
Anytime consumers venture outside of the U.S. supply system, they take on a very real risk of getting counterfeit drugs. All political leaders need to understand that drug importation programs, including state-government sponsored programs, encourage Americans-especially vulnerable patient populations such as minorities, seniors, and fixed income patients-to gamble with their health.
We urge both candidates to adhere to the Principles for Drug Safety. This invaluable resource can help to form the basis for a national strategy to strengthen the U.S. distribution system and curtail the criminal counterfeit drug trade. Specifically, the Partnership’s principles addresses ways to protect the pharmaceutical supply chain, regulate online drug sellers, and fight counterfeit drugs.
All Americans should feel secure the medicines upon which they rely are safe, untainted and regulated to ensure the highest quality. The Partnership encourages Congress to enact stronger safety measures and enable law enforcement to deal with counterfeit drugs.