Editorials

Congress Passes Opioid Epidemic Legislative Package

The Partnership for Safe Medicines applauds the passage of the SUPPORT Act, an $8 billion package which will help develop non-addictive painkillers, improve prescription drug monitoring programs, establish comprehensive opioid recovery centers, and strengthen Customs and Border Protection’s ability to intercept fentanyl that is illegally shipped into the United States.

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Drug Importation is Fraught with Peril

As a licensed pharmacist, I’m all too familiar with patients’ difficulties getting medications they need and their physician has prescribed. As baby boomers age, pharmacists see more patients at our counters unable to obtain needed treatments for heart disease, high blood pressure, diabetes, and other chronic illnesses. This issue is now being acknowledged and a healthy debate has begun over possible solutions. But one idea policymakers shouldn’t pursue is opening up our country’s secure drug supply to medicines coming from outside our borders.

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STAT black market importation policy recommendation based in rhetoric, not facts

The most recent editorial in Stat advocating black market drug importation under the guise of “ordering prescription drugs abroad” overlooks many safety dangers. The most important oversight is in the characterization of the cost of medications. Over 80% of all medications dispensed in the U.S. are dispensed as generic, and generics as a whole are…

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How to Stay Safe as a Patient

Patients are growing concerned about reports of counterfeit drugs being provided by doctors. Patients can protect themselves by asking their physicians questions about the origins of medicines they receive in their doctor’s office.

Read more about what patients can do to stay safe.

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“Safe” Country Focus: United Kingdom

As my colleague Thomas Kubic recently noted, most supporters of drug importation have a faulty assumption that developed countries like Canada, Australia, Japan and the 27 members of the European Union (E.U.) are insulated from the global threat of counterfeit drugs. In the coming weeks, we will take a closer look at some of these so-called “safe” countries and illustrate why there is no such thing as a “safe” country when it comes to drug importation.

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Counterfeit Drug Sentencing Less Than Adequate

After nearly two years under investigation, the final sentence for running an international multi-million pound counterfeit drug operation was issued in the United Kingdom. The first four convictions were made in September 2007 and on July 6, the final member of the operation received a 12 month sentence, suspended for two years, for masterminding an industrial scale conspiracy of supplying counterfeit drugs between 2002 and 2005. In total, the seven convicted members of this international counterfeit drug ring received a combined 17.5 years imprisonment—an average of 2.5 years for each participant—for their part in the U.K. distribution arm of a global ring operating from China, India and Pakistan, extending to the Caribbean and the United States.

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Mile High Warnings of Counterfeit Drugs

It’s happening all the time. Nearly every day, there are new reports of counterfeit drugs flooding the world’s prescription drug market. Just last week, the Partnership for Safe Medicines posted a link about how counterfeit drugs are hastening drug-resistant strains of malaria. And the week before, we shared the news reports out of the United Kingdom about a raid on an Irish counterfeit drug distribution operation and the MHRA’s recall due to possible counterfeit inhalers found in the U.K. supply system.

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Pharmacists Fight Against Counterfeit Drugs

Earlier this month, the Partnership for Safe Medicines (PSM) released the L.E.A.D.E.R.’s Guide for Pharmacists to encourage pharmacists to take an active role in protecting the supply chain from counterfeit drugs. This effort is one of many to help curb the distribution of harmful and potentially deadly counterfeit drugs. Similarly, the Royal Pharmaceutical Society of Great Britain (RPSGB), Medicines and Healthcare products Regulatory Agency (MHRA) and the Dispensing Doctor’s Association (DDA) issued Counterfeit medicines: Guidance for pharmacists, explaining the background of counterfeit drugs, their production and distribution to pharmacists.

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