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FDA Commissioner Margaret Hamburg Joins with Public and Private Sector Leaders in Call to Address Global Counterfeit Drug Crisis

Washington, D.C. (October 8, 2010) – The U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) is committed to keeping American drugs safe and needs new regulatory authority to do so, said Dr. Margaret Hamburg, Commissioner of the FDA, in prepared remarks at today’s inaugural Counterfeit Drug Interchange Conference hosted by the Partnership for Safe Medicines (PSM). The conference brought together more than a hundred cross-industry stakeholders to discuss ways to stem the rising tide of counterfeit and unsafe medicines.

“The FDA is firmly committed to doing all that we can to further strengthen our nation’s drug supply and ensure the quality and safety of all drugs and medical products on the U.S. market,” said Hamburg. “It is clear that FDA needs new regulatory tools that provide the authority we need to meet the challenges we face in today’s increasing globalized marketplace. And we look forward to working with Congress on legislation that will give FDA the ability to protect Americans from harmful drugs and medical products—and fulfill our fundamental public health mission.”

Partnership for Safe Medicines Hosts Inaugural Safe Medicines Forum; GPhA Joins Organization as Alliance Partner

Washington, D.C. (October 8, 2010) – The U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) is committed to keeping American drugs safe and needs new regulatory authority to do so, said Dr. Margaret Hamburg, Commissioner of the FDA, in prepared remarks at today’s inaugural Counterfeit Drug Interchange Conference hosted by the Partnership for Safe Medicines (PSM). The conference brought together more than a hundred cross-industry stakeholders to discuss ways to stem the rising tide of counterfeit and unsafe medicines.

“The FDA is firmly committed to doing all that we can to further strengthen our nation’s drug supply and ensure the quality and safety of all drugs and medical products on the U.S. market,” said Hamburg. “It is clear that FDA needs new regulatory tools that provide the authority we need to meet the challenges we face in today’s increasing globalized marketplace. And we look forward to working with Congress on legislation that will give FDA the ability to protect Americans from harmful drugs and medical products—and fulfill our fundamental public health mission.”

Today’s forum underscores the severity of the problem and the interest among all segments of the pharmaceutical sector – law enforcement, patient groups, government regulators, academics and manufacturers – to come together to discuss practical solutions.

“The U.S. has the safest drug system in the world, but that does not mean American consumers are immune. The instances of counterfeit drugs are increasing and the counterfeiters are becoming more sophisticated, which means that our drug safety is at risk,” said Scott LaGanga, executive director of PSM. “PSM’s goal with the Interchange is to raise awareness of the scope of this epidemic, as well as the need for global collaboration, information sharing and tools and resources that will help protect consumers across the globe.”

In addition to Dr. Hamburg, speakers included an American victim of counterfeit drugs, representatives from the Drug Enforcement Agency and the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, law enforcement officers, and patient advocacy groups.

At the event, PSM also announced that the Generic Pharmaceutical Association (GPhA) has joined the organization, adding their expertise and network to PSM’s efforts to keep all medicines – generic and branded – safe for consumers.

“Given the role that generic drugs play in the global marketplace, PSM today is even more positioned to continue its battle to keep prescription medicines safe for consumers,” said LaGanga. “We welcome GPhA to our membership and look forward to working together on this critical health issue.”

About PSM:
Comprised of more than 60 non-profit organizations, the Partnership for Safe Medicines is a public health group committed to the safety of prescription medicines and protecting consumers against counterfeit, substandard or otherwise unsafe medicines. PSM can be found on Facebook (http://www.facebook.com/SafeMedicines), Twitter (@safemedicines), and the web at www.safemedicines.org.

Media Contact:
Teresa Schofield
teresa@safemedicines.org
+1-202-347-7947

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