Archive for May 2013

Tennessee Pharmacist Pleads Guilty to Selling Misbranded Kidney Dialysis Drug

Robert Harshbarger
Jr. of Kingsport, TN pleaded guilty to charges he replaced FDA-approved iron
sucrose for use in kidney dialysis with
cheap foreign versions of the drug. Patients
in Kansas were unwittingly exposed to the misbranded drugs.

Harshbarger was originally charged by the FDA in March
2012.  In the indictment, he was charged
with one count of selling misbranded drugs, one count of mail fraud and five
counts of health care fraud, for substituting cheap Chinese-made iron sucrose
for the FDA approved Venofer he claimed to be filling prescriptions with,
reported the Department of Justice at the time of Harshbarger’s indictment.


PSM Field Resources Page

Partnership for Safe Medicines Field Resources Page A short issue brief (with powerful images) on the danger of counterfeit drugs in the US [PDF] State Focused Handouts Mississippi Counterfeit Drug Incidents.pdf (120.5K) Tennessee Counterfeit Drug Incidents.pdf (124.0K) Virginia Counterfeit Drug Incidents.pdf (123.6K) Therapeutic Category Handouts Counterfeit Drug Incidents and Kids.pdf (115.9K) Counterfeit Drug Incidents with…


How To Save Money Safely On Medication – Buy Local, Buy Generic

The Partnership for Safe Medicines recently gained access to a RFP submission from a foreign drug broker, purporting to save money for a Maine employee union. We studied the top 30 medications purchased by this union and price-compared black market foreign pharmacies to pharmacies who possessed a pharmacy license in Maine.

Using legitimate, FDA approved generic saves more than 80% of the cost of the name-brand medication, while purchasing from the black market foreign pharmacy saves less than 50%, while exposing patients to the dangers of substandard, misbranded and counterfeit drugs.


French Customs Seizes 1.2 Million Doses of Counterfeit Aspirin

View larger map On May 25, 2013, France’s Ministry of Economy announced the largest seizure of counterfeit medication ever made by France and the European Union. French customs agents in Le Havre discovered 1.2 million doses of counterfeit aspirin hidden in a shipment of tea originating from China. The goods in the shipment were destined…


Generic Drug Maker Ranbaxy Settles with DOJ in Adulterated Drugs Case

The US Department of Justice reports that a plea agreement by the US branch of Indian generic drug giant Ranbaxy is the largest ever against a generic drug manufacture. Ranbaxy admitted to selling unapproved and adulterated prescription drugs in the United States.

According to the Department of Justice statement on this case, the drugs manufactured at two different plants in India, one in Dewas, and another in Paonta Sahib. The manufacturers failed to follow Current Good Manufacturing Practices (cGMPs) as mandated by the FDA. In many cases the drugs were not up to FDA standards and degraded much faster than their authentic counterparts. The Department of Justice also reports that Ranbaxy knowingly made false statements to the FDA as to the testing, content and quality of the drugs it sold in the United States.


Spreading the word about safety on World Anti-Counterfeiting Day

May 28 2013 is World Anti-Counterfeiting
Day.  The
Global Anti Counterfeiting Network has announced Interpol and the Malaysia Health Service as the winners of their 15th
Annual Global Anti Counterfeiting Awards.   While
not an event traditionally widely observed, this day  gives us a chance to try and highlight our work to protect
patients from counterfeit drugs.   If
you’re reading this, you probably care about protecting patients, but you
haven’t done anything to prepare for the event.   The Partnership for Safe Medicines has made
it easy for you to highlight patient safety on this day, by giving you easy
resources for writing tweets, posting to Facebook, sending email, or writing a
letter to the editor on this day.

If you’re planning to help, please send us a note and we’ll keep an eye out for your messages!

Quick links:

What we have planned

We are launching our patient and physician TIPS campaign on
World Anti-Counterfeiting Day.   The
campaign includes 25+ tips on how patients can avoid counterfeit drugs, and
physicians can avoid unauthorized distributors selling counterfeit drugs.  The tips have short versions that can fit in
a tweet or Facebook message, or longer versions that can fit in an email or
print newsletter.   Each one contains an
original illustration like this one:

Ways you can help

Post a tip to Facebook or Twitter

Post a note of support for the campaign recognizing PSM’s efforts on Twitter. 

Send a tip to your mailing list, with links to more.

Post a blog post on your website.

Post a link to our campaign on your website, either in text or with one of
the tips graphics.

Write an op-ed.


PSM Supports HR 1919, ‘Safeguarding America’s Pharmaceuticals Act’

Dear Speaker Boehner and Chairman Upton:

On behalf of the Partnership for Safe Medicines (PSM), we write today in strong support of H.R.
, the “Safeguarding America’s Pharmaceuticals Act”.

PSM is a not for profit, consumer focused organization that seeks to
keep Americans safe from counterfeit drugs through patient and healthcare
provider education and awareness.   In
the US we work with a coalition of over 70 healthcare professional and patient
groups to improve  patients’ and their
healthcare providers’ knowledge about where they obtain their medication, how
they can save money safely, and how to safely identify licensed pharmaceutical

PSM strongly supports the creation of a national uniform track and trace
or pedigree system that would allow all participants in the supply chain to
verify a product’s history of sale.