At the 2014 Interchange, PSM was pleased to have Philip Walsky, the Acting Director of the FDA’s Office of Criminal Investigations (OCI) speak about OCI’s efforts to respond to the challenge of fraudulent drug schemes.

At the 2014 Interchange, PSM was pleased to have Philip Walsky, the Acting Director of the FDA’s Office of Criminal Investigations (OCI) speak about OCI’s efforts to respond to the challenge of fraudulent drug schemes. Walsky characterized recent pharmaceutical crime as more complicated than in the past, with “more actors in many different parts of the world.” He described OCI’s coordination with INTERPOL and the Permanent Forum on International Pharmaceutical Crime (PFIPC), but also discussed their expanded international presence in the rest of the world. In June 2014, OCI sent an agent on permanent assignment to Europol and the office is contemplating placing staff in enforcement agencies in Asia and South America. The office has also sent agents on short assignments to Singapore, India and Chile, where they offered education about counterfeit drug crime and drug regulation.

Walsky also spoke about OCI’s relationship with Health Canada and the Royal Canadian Mounted Police and about organized crime’s exploitation of counterfeit medicines trade, “not just in the U.S., but worldwide.” Organized crime finds fake medicines attractive, he said, because the trade is “high profit and low risk. The fact of the matter is…ounce for ounce, Avastin is 3 times more expensive than an ounce of gold.”

Learn more about the FDA’s global efforts to protect Americans from counterfeit medicine by listening to Walsky’s comments below, or listen to the whole panel, Drug Counterfeiters Target Americans.

 

 

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By S. Imber