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Mothers of Counterfeit Drug Victims Join Law Enforcement, Pharmacy Experts to Raise Alarm Over Lethal Fentanyl Imports

Partnership for Safe Medicines Announces Creation of Fentanyl Council to Spotlight Impact on U.S. Law Enforcement, Explore Proliferation of Pill Presses

WASHINGTON (June 7, 2018) – In a public briefing today at the National Press Club on the escalating harm caused by illegally imported fentanyl and other counterfeit medicines, mothers of victims who have lost their lives joined with law enforcement officials, pharmacy experts, and consumer advocates to discuss the importance of keeping our drug supply safe.

In addition to the human impact of illicit fentanyl, experts discussed the public policy and law enforcement challenges presented by illegal substances being imported into the United States. The surging influx of counterfeit drugs online and through other conduits is exceeding the capabilities of federal law enforcement to detect and seize these substances.  

At the event, the Partnership for Safe Medicines, a public health group comprised of nearly 70 non-profit organizations, announced that it would join with the National Association of Boards of Pharmacy and the National Association of Drug Diversion Investigators (NADDI) to form the Fentanyl Council. The purpose of the Council will be to raise awareness of illicit fentanyl’s danger to Americans, looking specifically at the proliferation of pill presses that are creating these lethal drugs and the growing dangers facing law enforcement organizations in dealing with this crisis.

Members of the Fentanyl Council include Marty Allain, senior program manager, Pharmacy-Verified Websites Program, National Association of Boards of Pharmacy; Charlie Cichon, executive director of the National Association of Drug Diversion Investigators; Sam Louis, JD, a board member of the Partnership for Safe Medicines and a former high-ranking official with the Department of Justice; Kenneth L. McCall, Pharm.D, associate professor and residency director at the University of New England College of Pharmacy; Dan Szido, director of education and training at NADDI; and Lynn Thomson, investigator for the Sarasota County Sheriff’s Office.

One significant project for the Fentanyl Council will be creating resources that any law enforcement organization can study and use as a guidebook in developing their own fentanyl-related practices and policies.  

“These fentanyl-laced drugs present a significant hazard to any law enforcement officer who comes in contact with them,” said Dr. Marvin Shepherd, President of PSM. “We want to catalog and analyze all of the incidents involving law enforcement contact with fentanyl so that police and sheriff’s departments have the information they need to keep their communities and their officers safe.”

For more information on PSM and the fentanyl crisis in America, visit www.safemedicines.org.

Contact:
Farheena Mustafa
farheena@safemedicines.org
(703) 477-4642

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