Collaboration within the U.S. government, collaboration between governments themselves, and collaboration with the private sector and, all stakeholder groups is essential to the fight against counterfeit and substandard medicines, said U.S. Under Secretary of State Robert D. Hormats during a speech today at the annual Interchange hosted today by the Partnership for Safe Medicines (PSM).
NABP Given Inaugural Partnership for Safe Medicines Guardian Award
Washington, D.C. (October 27, 2011) – Collaboration within the U.S. government, collaboration between governments themselves, and collaboration with the private sector and, all stakeholder groups is essential to the fight against counterfeit and substandard medicines, said U.S. Under Secretary of State Robert D. Hormats during a speech today at the annual Interchange hosted today by the Partnership for Safe Medicines (PSM). The conference brought together over 120 cross-industry stakeholders to discuss ways to stem the rising tide of counterfeit and unsafe medicines not only in the United States, but around the globe.
“We must ensure that our citizens—in their most desperate moments—have confidence that the medicines they are taking—or that their loved ones are taking— are safe and effective,” said Hormats. “To curb the spread of counterfeit and substandard medicines we need collaboration. That’s why the State Department is funding a number of government-to-government anti-counterfeit medicines programs, and collaborating to increase global awareness of the problem through embassy managed outreach programs.”
Today’s Interchange continues PSM’s efforts to raise awareness among all segments of the global pharmaceutical supply chain – from patients and their doctors, to law enforcement and regulators to manufacturers and academics – of the public health threat posed by fake medicines and the need for coordinated, global action.
“Our goal today was to send a message of empowerment – empowering consumers and medical professionals to identify and avoid unsafe medicines, empowering lawmakers and regulators to develop policies to keep our drug supply safe, and empowering global stakeholders to join together to develop a unified, collaborative effort to fight the growing counterfeit drug risk,” said Dr. Marv Shepherd, President of PSM and director of the Center for Pharmacoeconomic Studies at the University of Texas-Austin.
In addition to Under Secretary Hormats, speakers included Senator Michael Bennet (D-CO), Congressman Jim Matheson (D-UT), Deputy Director of Immigration and Customs Enforcement Kumar C. Kibble, Maryland Attorney General Douglas Gansler, and representatives from the U.S. Food and Drug Administration, the White House office of the U.S. Intellectual Property Enforcement Coordinator, and a variety of domestic and international patient and health advocacy organizations.
Additionally, PSM presented the National Association of Boards of Pharmacy (NABP) the inaugural Guardian award for its efforts in raising awareness of and combating unlicensed online pharmacies. The Guardian will be an annual award presented by PSM to an individual or organization that has demonstrated outstanding leadership in the fight to stop counterfeit medicines.
“The counterfeit drug issue is not going away, and the criminals who manufacture and sell these unsafe medicines are only getting shrewder. We must redouble our efforts to raise awareness among all stakeholders about what they can – and need – to do to combat this global public health issue. We hope today’s Interchange will help in that effort,” said Thomas Kubic, Treasurer of PSM and President and CEO of the Pharmaceutical Security Institute.
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.
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