News Coverage

The Partnership for Safe Medicines has been publishing information about the counterfeit drug problem around the world for more than a decade. With experts leading the organization and a committed and passionate set of writers and editors, our content is more in-depth than many other sources, which simply copy links to the news from other websites.

Ghodse H. Watching Internet Pharmacies. Br J Psychiatry. 2010;196:169-170.

March 10, 2010

The number of illegal internet pharmacies selling prescription-only medicines without a prescription is increasing. Large quantities of drugs are dispensed, making drugs of abuse readily available, and further risks are posed by counterfeit medication. Urgent national and international action is required to stop further proliferation of illegal pharmacies. Watching Internet Pharmacies

FDA / Sirius Alert: Nearly 12,000 Kits of ClindaReach® Pledgets Stolen from Truck

March 9, 2010

The U.S. Food and Drug Administration has received warning of nearly 12,000 kits of ClindaReach® Pledgets, (Clindamycin Phosphate Topical Solution UPS, 1%), a topical acne treatment, which were stolen from a tractor-trailer on or around February 7, 2010 while in transit. The theft occurred in Monroe, Ohio. According to the manufacturer, Sirius—a wholly owned subsidiary…

PSM Delivers Social Media Recommendations to the FDA

March 9, 2010

If you’re familiar with the Partnership for Safe Medicines (PSM), you’re familiar with our goal: to mitigate the threat of counterfeit and unsafe medicines to patients. The internet and social media have been both a hindrance to our efforts—giving legs to unlicensed online pharmacies, search engine advertising and spam—and a help—providing a tool for outreach…

Online Pharmacies, Free Trade Zones and Counterfeit Drugs

March 3, 2010

Nearly four years ago, Americans were warned against buying prescription drugs from Web sites linked to Canada’s biggest mail-order pharmacies, Mediplan Prescription Plus Pharmacy—also known as RxNorth—after laboratory tests of intercepted shipments detected counterfeits. Among the counterfeits were widely prescribed medications for heart disease and cholesterol. At the time, Mediplan’s Founder and President Andrew Strempler…

European Counterfeit Drug Market Worth more than $14 Billion

February 23, 2010

At the Partnership for Safe Medicines (PSM), we've long cautioned consumers about the dangers of counterfeit drugs—a growing issue affecting all corners of the globe. Now, the Pfizer-commissioned study, "Cracking Counterfeit Europe," has estimated that the counterfeit medicines market in Europe is worth more than $14 billion. The investigation, which covered 14 European countries, comes…

Partnership for Safe Medicines Applauds Google’s Updated U.S. Pharmaceutical Advertising Policy

February 10, 2010

WASHINGTON, DC – Feb. 10, 2010 – The Partnership for Safe Medicines (PSM) today commended Google for its updated policy on U.S. pharmaceutical advertising through its paid search program, AdWords. Toward the end of the month, Google will refine its advertising model to accept ads only from online pharmacies in the U.S. that are accredited…

FDA Alert Regarding Counterfeit Alli

January 26, 2010

The U.S. FDA released an updated public health alert regarding counterfeit Alli being sold over the internet. According to the FDA, here’s what you need to know: Alli is an FDA-approved, over-the-counter weight loss drug. FDA lab tests have confirmed that counterfeit versions of the drug do not contain the FDA-approved active ingredient; rather, they…

Who is PharmacyChecker? Checking the Facts on PharmacyChecker.com

December 15, 2009

Who is PharmacyChecker.com? PharmacyChecker is a company that provided online pharmacy certification services for the major search engines until 2010. Why did the search engines stop using PharmacyChecker’s services? None of the search engines gave a public reason for ending their relationship with PharmacyChecker.  Several experts in the field, including our own Bryan Liang, criticized…

Partnerka, Counterfeit Drugs and the New Counterfeit Spam

November 25, 2009

The Partnership for Safe Medicines (PSM) has long reported on the growing issue of pharmaceutical spam advertising—and now SophosLab Canada has taken a closer look at the solicitation of counterfeit products online.

Spotlight on KnujOn: Combating Counterfeits Online – Conclusion

November 23, 2009

This is concludes our interview with Garth Bruen, co-founder of KnujOn, an internet compliance company, on the subjects of counterfeit drugs sold online, search engine advertising what’s needed from regulators to protect Web users. PSM: FDA is preparing to receive public remarks regarding the online promotion of medical products and adverse event reporting. What recommendations…

Consumer Protection Group Applauds International Efforts to Combat Illegal Online Pharmacies

November 20, 2009

The Partnership for Safe Medicines (PSM) issued the following statement regarding the International Internet Week of Action, code named Operation Pangea II, intended to curb illegal actions involving medical products. PSM is a group of organizations and individuals dedicated to protecting consumers from counterfeit medicines.

Spotlight on KnujOn: Combating Counterfeits Online, Part 4

November 18, 2009

This is part four of our interview with Garth Bruen, co-founder of KnujOn, an internet compliance company. We talked to him about the KnujOn system, search engine advertising and what’s needed from regulatory bodies to protect Web users from counterfeit and substandard drug solicitations online. Read: Part 1 | Part 2 | Part 3 PSM:…

Spotlight on KnujOn: Combating Counterfeits Online, Part 3

November 17, 2009

This is part three of our interview with Garth Bruen, co-founder of KnujOn, an internet compliance company. We talked to him about the KnujOn system, search engine advertising and what’s needed from regulatory bodies to protect Web users from counterfeit and substandard drug solicitations online. Read: Part 1 | Part 2 PSM: What steps have…

Spotlight on KnujOn: Combating Counterfeits Online, Part 2

November 16, 2009

This is part two of an interview with Garth Bruen, the co-founder of KnujOn, an internet compliance company, on the KnujOn system, search engine advertising and what’s needed from regulatory agencies to protect consumers from counterfeit medical products advertised online. Read part one of our interview. PSM: Have you noticed an uptick in the number…

Spotlight on KnujOn: Combating Counterfeits Online, Part 1

November 13, 2009

The dangers of online pharmacies and unlicensed drug sellers are well documented. In fact, recent reports released by KnujOn, an internet compliance company, found that 80 to 90 percent of search engine-sponsored advertisements of online drug pharmacies violate federal and state laws, including selling substandard and counterfeit drugs to unsuspecting consumers. To make matters worse,…

“Safe” Country Focus: United Kingdom

November 13, 2009

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.

PSAs Warn Cambodians of Counterfeit Drug Dangers

October 23, 2009

Earlier this month, a public health campaign was launched in Cambodia to help raise awareness and combat the rising threat of counterfeit drugs throughout Southeast Asia. The campaign, launched by the U.S. Agency for International Development (USAID) and the United States Pharmacopeia (USP) Convention with the support of Cambodian authorities, includes a nationally broadcasted public service announcement (PSA) series titled “Pharmacide.”

NBC Nightly News story about counterfeit swine flu vaccine

October 15, 2009

Visit msnbc.com for Breaking News, World News, and News about the Economy

TIME Article on Counterfeit Drugs Trade

October 15, 2009

Read the TIMES article. Washington-based agency the Pharmaceutical Security Institute, run by Partnership for Safe Medicines board member Thomas Kubic, was created to address the problem of major pharmaceutical companies losing billions every year to counterfeit drug trafficking around the world. Now a group of international dignitaries and industry experts will join this international effort…

FDA Warns of Online H1N1 Influenza Virus Drug Product Purchases

October 15, 2009

FDA is alerting you to a use extreme caution when purchasing any medication over the Internet claiming to prevent or treat H1N1 influenza virus. Several orders of the H1N1 vaccine Tamiflu (oseltamivir) purchased from online pharmacies were found to be a health threat to consumers.

The new “Spamalot” – Spam Solicitations for Counterfeit Drugs

October 15, 2009

On October 13, a USA Today article featured a report released from the antivirus company McAfee. They found that 70 percent of spam in September was from websites advertizing “Canadian pharmaceuticals.” Further, the only thing that made it “Canadian” was the word Canadian and the maple leaves on the spammers’ web page. The increase in counterfeit drug spam may be due to the rising fears surrounding H1N1 flu, as well as the intensity around the topic of healthcare costs.

Cambodia: Fighting counterfeit medicines with TV spots and Minilabs

October 14, 2009

The US Agency for International Development (USAID) and United States Pharmacopeial Convention (USP) launched a series of public service announcements on counterfeit medicines in Phnom Penh last week. First broadcast on national television in Cambodia subsequent translations into other languages will help also to spread the word throughout all countries of the Greater Mekong region.…

IACC incident map sample

October 14, 2009

View IACC incident map in a larger map

Creating Marketplaces Free from Counterfeit Drugs

October 12, 2009

On October 12, The Foundation Chirac, a long-time champion of access to safe medicines in African countries, is hosting a meeting in Cotonou, Benin, to discuss the counterfeit drugs that plague African citizens.

Internet Search Engines Promote Illegal Online Pharmacies

September 18, 2009

The Partnership for Safe Medicines, a group of organizations and individuals dedicated to protecting consumers from counterfeit medicines, issued the following statement regarding recent reports released by LegitScript, an online pharmacy verification service, and KnujOn,an Internet compliance company, which found that 80 to 90 percent of search engine-sponsored advertisements of online drug pharmacies violate federal and state laws, including selling substandard or counterfeit drugs to unsuspecting consumers.

Tractor-trailer of asthma medication stolen in Florida; see lot numbers

September 18, 2009

Third incident of stolen asthma inhalers in two months stems from a truck theft on September 8, 2009 in Florida.

Did You Ever Wonder Why People Buy Counterfeit Drugs?

September 14, 2009

Last month, the Wall Street Journal featured an article that discussed the efforts currently underway to deter people from buying counterfeit products. It pointed out that many anti-counterfeiting messages fail to address the underlying motivation which leads people to buy counterfeit products.

Upcoming BBC Series focuses on counterfeit products, including medicine orders that come with free ‘Bonus Viagra’

September 9, 2009

An upcoming BBC series entitled "Fake Britain" will demonstrate how easy it is for patients to be tricked by unscrupulous pharmaceutical vendors online.  The series, part of the BBC's "Fake Britain" week, focuses on counterfeit products of all types. In the series the chair of the European Alliance for Access to Safe Medicines, Jim Thomson,…

Thoughts and responses on “Why Steal A Truck Full Of Drugs”

September 2, 2009

Our recent roundtable discussion post, “Why Steal A Truck Full Of Drugs” generated a lot of attention for this usually obscure policy issue.  One reader who is a veteran colleague of drug diversion enforcement, Carlos M. Aquino at PharmaDiversion, LLC, wrote: I just read, “Why Steal a Truck Full of Drugs?” and I have to…

Counterfeit Heparin Blamed for Worldwide Deaths

August 30, 2009

View larger map What: Counterfeit heparin has been linked to the deaths of 81 people and resulted in hundreds of allergic reactions in the United States. Batches of contaminated heparin were also detected in 11 other countries – resulting in as many as 68 more deaths. Reports issued by the U.S. Food and Drug Administration…

Counterfeit Drug Ring Busted in Montreal

August 26, 2009

View larger map What: Officials seized 15,000 counterfeit pills and arrested nine people during raids in the Montreal region. Counterfeit Viagra and cancer drugs were among the seized pills. When: August 6, 2009 Where: Montreal, Canada Additional details: According to the Montreal Gazette, the Royal Canadian Mounted Policy (RCMP) seized 15,000 counterfeit pills and arrested…

Microsoft’s Bing.com Sponsors Illegal Online Pharmacies

August 13, 2009

The Partnership for Safe Medicines (PSM) strongly believes that that no one should be able to purchase prescription drugs, including controlled substances, over the Internet without a valid prescription and physician oversight. Last year we sent every member of Congress a postcard that illustrated this face and earlier this year, my colleague Dr. Bryan Liang published a paper in the American Journal of Law & Medicine that highlights how Internet search engines support illegal online drug sales and identified three key ways we can stop “online pharmacies” from peddling their dangerous wares in cyberspace.

Asthma Drug Theft Alert and Public Warning

August 11, 2009

The U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) and the McKinney, Texas, Police Department have reported that on August 7 a tractor-trailer truck containing a 35,760-carton shipment Dey brand generic Albuterol Sulfate Inhalation Solution was stolen in McKinney, Texas. We are concerned that they could make their way to consumers via online pharmacies.

Plastic surgery practice in Albany admits giving fake Botox injections [[New York]]

August 11, 2009

Five Capital Region doctors were convicted in federal court today on charges of misbranding drugs after they admitted to using a cheaper Botox substitue on unsuspecting patients, reports CBS News. The Plastic Surgery Group, LLP, of Albany(TPSG), pleaded guilty to the charge after an investigation found the doctors in the practice had been injecting patients…

Inside the World of Counterfeit Drugs

August 6, 2009

Part 3: Implications for the U.S. and the Drug Importation Debate – As the debate surrounding the possible ban on the repackaging of medicines in Europe simmers to a boil, here in the United States the potentially dangerous practice of ordering prescription medicines via the Internet is mushrooming. Enticed by the promise of cheaper drugs and convenience by buying online, patients are largely unaware of the risks that come with online pharmacies. These risks can range from receiving products with too much, too little or no active ingredients, to being exposed to counterfeit products, which in some rare cases have been found to contain rat poison, boric acid and even inkjet cartridges!

Inside the World of Counterfeit Drugs

July 24, 2009

Part 2: The European Repackaging Debate – Last week we witnessed the confusing practice of repackaging of prescription medicines within the European Union (EU) through the eyes of a fictitious Dutch patient picking up his blood pressure tablets at a city retail pharmacy. The patient’s experience is shared by millions of Europeans living in Germany, Great Britain, and Holland among other countries. Under current EU rules, medicines can be re-boxed or re-labeled after they leave the site of production, and tablets can be removed from their blisters and reconditioned. Counterfeiters can exploit this fact in order to sneak their fake goods past regulators. One of the prime sources of counterfeit medicines, which can enter the drug supply at the point of repackaging, is the Internet.

Inside the World of Counterfeit Drugs

July 17, 2009

Part 1: Your critical role in safe medicines — In recent blog entries, the Partnership for Safe Medicines’ (PSM) experts have warned consumers and pharmacists of the dangers that counterfeit drugs pose, recapped legislation surrounding these issues and highlighting incidents of counterfeit drugs from across the world. However, this month we have invited guest blogger Gregory Zec to share his thoughts on some current drug safety issues. This week, Gregory uses a fictional consumer’s experiences (which he based on real patients’ stories) to explore the confusion many patients encounter from when they receive repackaged, imported prescription drugs from a legitimate pharmacy.

Dangerous Assumptions Drawn From List of Permitted Countries

July 9, 2009

Periodically proposals are floated both in Washington, DC and state capitols that would allow Americans to import drugs from 32 “permitted” countries – Australia, Canada, Japan, New Zealand, Switzerland and the 27 members of the European Union. There is a perception that these countries have “safe” drug supplies insulated from the dangers that every other nation in the world.

Education…The Prescription for Purchasing Medications

June 4, 2009

The cost of counterfeiting is much more than money. In too many cases, counterfeiting costs human health and in some cases lives. For example, a group of clinics in Sierra Leone were closed last week for allegedly administering counterfeit drugs. Other cases involving online drug sellers have claimed the health and lives of patients who bought from illicit Web sites.

Mile High Warnings of Counterfeit Drugs

May 28, 2009

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.

Cheerios… A Threat Larger Than Counterfeit Drugs?

May 21, 2009

On May 5, the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) administered a warning against General Mills regarding the claim that Cheerios® Toasted Whole Grain Oat Cereal has the ability to lower cholesterol. Basically, the FDA cited General Mills for marketing Cheerios® as a cholesterol-reducing drug. I believe the FDA’s points are valid and factual, but I have to ask – Shouldn’t our agency watchdog be focusing greater attention on the operators of thousands of Web sites and

Counterfeit Insulin Needles Found in the UK

May 12, 2009

Counterfeit Insulin Needles Found in UK View Larger Map What: A batch of counterfeit insulin pen needles emulating those made by Novo Nordisk were discovered in the United Kingdom. According to the Juvenile Diabetes Research Foundation in England, “the needles were not made by Novo Nordisk, the manufacturer of NovoFine® and do not comply with…

How Internet Search Engines Support Illegal Online Drug Sales

May 7, 2009

Did you know that Internet search engines, such as Google and Yahoo, claim to verify online pharmacies through PharmacyChecker.com? But what good does it do? This site provides little to no security about the legitimacy of Internet drug sellers. Rogue online pharmacies continue to profit from the sale of counterfeit drugs, and at the same time Internet search engines profit from the advertisements on these non-verified pharmacies’ Web sites. Even more alarming is that Internet search engines are in no way held accountable for hosting and profiting off “online pharmacies” who distribute counterfeit drugs.

LEADERs in the Fight Against Counterfeit Drugs

April 13, 2009

In the past two weeks, the Partnership for Safe Medicines issued two SafeMeds Alerts about counterfeit insulin pen needles and herbal medication adulterated with dangerously high levels of undeclared pharmaceuticals in the United Kingdom. It is tempting to disregard these alerts since the drugs were found in England, not the United States. But in today’s global environment, we are all at risk when these unsafe products move through the drug supply chain undetected.

Limiting Illegal Online Pharmacies Through International Cooperation

March 26, 2009

A recent U.S. study revealed that of 365 online pharmacies, only two were legitimate. So how can we realistically address this problem?

Nigeria-bound HIV/AIDS Drugs Seized in Netherlands

March 23, 2009

Nigeria-bound HIV/AIDS Drugs Seized in Netherlands View larger map What: On November 12, 2008, Dutch authorities seized a shipment of Indian-made abacavir—an antiretroviral drug for HIV/AIDS treatment—bound for Nigeria. The abacavir tablets were found to violate patent rules and were declared counterfeit; however it’s been disputed whether the drugs were actually counterfeit. The Financial Times reported that “dozens” of HIV patients were…

Thousands of Fake Pills Removed from UK Pharmacies

March 23, 2009

View larger map Thirty thousand packs of counterfeit life-saving drugs may have been consumed by National Health Service (NHS) patients, including drugs used to treat prostate cancer, strokes, heart conditions and schizophrenia. When: June 2007 Where: The United Kingdom How: According to reports by the BBC, reputable UK wholesalers were “duped by sophisticated counterfeits.” Who:  MHRA; National…

Counterfeit Drug Sellers – Small Penalties for Big-Time Offenses

March 12, 2009

The sale of counterfeit prescription drugs is neither harmless nor insignificant. Today, the illicit sale of counterfeit prescription drugs is outpacing the sale of street drugs as many dealers are finding it to be “more profitable” and “less risky.” Counterfeit prescription drugs and street drugs both endanger lives, yet, counterfeit drug sellers face significantly less penalties while making much more money (as much as 2,000 times the profit of crack or heroin). This is a tremendous public health concern around the world and on our domestic front.

Nigerian Children Killed by Contaminated Teething Medicine

February 23, 2009

Nigerian Children Killed by Contaminated Teething Medicine View larger map What: A toxic chemical mixed into a teething medicine for babies has killed at least 84 children in Nigeria as of February 16, 2009. The children died after taking My Pikin Baby Teething Mixture, a syrup for teething pain, according to Nigeria’s Health Ministry. Health…

Protecting Our Supply Chain from Counterfeit Drugs

February 19, 2009

In the fight against substandard and counterfeit drugs, we can’t forget that these unscrupulous businessmen and counterfeiters don’t just make fake prescription and over-the-counter (OTC) drugs, they also counterfeit the raw materials and ingredients used by legitimate manufactures.

NAFDAC destroys N24.25b counterfeit drugs in seven years

December 24, 2008

THE National Agency for Foods and Drugs Administration and Control (NAFDAC) has in the last seven years, carried out 123 destruction exercises of counterfeit and substandard products valued at over N24.25 billion. According to the former Director General, Prof. Dora Akunyili, 45 convictions have been secured in respect of counterfeit drug related cases, while 60…

Counterfeit Drugs: Stay Informed Partnership for Safe Medicines

December 2, 2008

Counterfeit Drugs Whether you live in the United States, Russia, or Ghana, counterfeit drugs are a serious patient safety problem all around the globe. Not only do counterfeit drugs defraud consumers, they deny ill patients the therapies that can alleviate suffering and save lives. And in some cases, counterfeit drugs cause great harm and fatalities.…

International Cooperation Halts Counterfeit Drug Distribution Via Online Pharmacies

November 21, 2008

Bryan A. Liang, MD, PhD, JD

International cooperation is essential to curbing the widespread illicit sale of substandard, unapproved and counterfeit drugs.  Another essential step is shutting down rogue online pharmacies.

Kenya Fights Counterfeit Drugs

November 6, 2008

Bryan A. Liang, MD, PhD, JD

Counterfeit drugs are a scourge that spans continents and patients everywhere.  Sadly however, some of the most vulnerable countries such as Kenya have been deeply impacted by the problem.  The World Health Organization reports that a survey performed by the National Quality Control Laboratories and the Pharmacy and Poisons Board found that almost 30 percent of drugs in Kenya are counterfeit, harming thousands of patients and representing a tremendous public health problem.  In addition, a 2006 estimate indicates that counterfeit drug sales account for approximately $130 million annually in sales.  Importantly, these fakes are believed to contribute to at least 200,000 of the 2.7 million deaths caused by malaria each year in Africa.

Protect Yourself From Counterfeit Drugs

October 30, 2008

Thomas T. Kubic

Counterfeit drugs are a rampant threat that easily cross boarders and target innocent people.  You can learn about this threat by visiting the Pharmaceutical Security Institute.  But how can you protect yourself from contaminated or counterfeit drugs finding their way into your medicine cabinet? 

Congress Joins the Battle Against Counterfeit Drugs

October 27, 2008

Signed into law last week, the PRO-IP Act is the most comprehensive IP enforcement legislation adopted by Congress in years. Not only does it increase the penalties for counterfeiting offenses that endanger public health and safety, it provides much-needed resources to at federal, state and local law enforcement levels. Additionally, the law creates the position…

Connecting Counterfeit Drugs to Fashion Fakes

October 20, 2008

Counterfeit Drugs and Baby Formula

October 2, 2008

Marv Shepherd, PhD

Four infants are dead and more than 54,000 children in China have suffered from kidney stones and kidney failure this past year as a result of baby formula and powdered milk tainted with melamine, an industrial chemical used to make plastics, glue and is found in pesticides.  The toxin found its way into the milk products from more than 30 Chinese companies because of its ability to make the milk appear high in protein. 

Politics and Counterfeit Drugs

September 25, 2008

Currently, the United States has one of the safest drug supplies in the world because its pharmaceutical supply system is “closed” to importation. Once a drug is outside the strictly regulated distribution channel, there is no guarantee of its authenticity, effectiveness, or safety. We know from the recent incident in China of the deliberately contaminated…

Online Pharmacies and Prescriptions

September 18, 2008

Ghana: Country Moves to Ensure Safe Medicine

September 12, 2008

Ghanaians have been urged to exercise their civic responsibility by buying drugs at the right places to avoid more deadly incidents by traders in counterfeit products. The World Health Organisation (WHO), estimates that more than 30% of drugs could lead to the horrid healthcare crises that fake drugs often unleash. The rate of fake drugs…

International Efforts to Combat Counterfeit Drugs

September 11, 2008

The counterfeit drugs are a global dilemma touching all countries, including the United States.  However, in some areas of Africa, up to 30 percent of the medicines for sale are counterfeit drugs.  

FDB to stop increasing counterfeiting of medicines

September 10, 2008

The Food and Drugs Board, FDB, is considering the introduction of a new technology that will detect fake drug products from genuine ones. The technology will indicate codes on the products which will be verified later from the manufacturers. The Acting Deputy Chief Executive of the Board, Rev. Jonathan Martey, announced this in Accra at…

Consumer Protection Group Supports West African Anti-Counterfeit Drug Efforts

September 9, 2008

Partnership for Safe Medicines shares expertise with leaders to combat contraband and counterfeit drugs.

ACCRA, Ghana (Sept. 9, 2008) – To combat the increasing amounts of contraband and counterfeit drugs threatening public health, West African government officials, business leaders, and non-profit organizations gathered today for the Stakeholder Forum on Safe Medicines in Accra, Ghana.  The Partnership for Safe Medicines, a coalition of organizations and individuals dedicated to protecting consumers from counterfeit medicines, helped lead a discussion about how the region can work together to address this important health problem.

Consumer Protection Group Announces Principles for Drug Safety

September 4, 2008

Stopping Counterfeit Drugs at the Source

August 28, 2008

Bryan A. Liang, MD, PhD, JD

Here at the Partnership for Safe Medicines, one of our core principles for drug safety is the need to unify in the fight against counterfeit drugs.  This week, we saw progress.

The Warning Signs of Illegal Online Pharmacies

August 22, 2008

Bryan A. Liang, MD, PhD, JD

Why buy from a store when you can shop on the Internet?  Unfortunately, there are numerous illegal Web sites that will sell you contaminated or counterfeit drugs, unapproved products, the wrong product, or simply take your money and never deliver anything in return.

Out of Time

August 14, 2008

Bryan A. Liang, MD, PhD, JD

Last week, the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) issued a consumer alert warning patients that two Baltimore pharmacies may have received either expired or possibly counterfeit drugs.  Earlier this year, New York Attorney General Andrew M. Cuomo initiated legal action against CVS and Rite Aid pharmacies after a statewide investigation found it had sold expired products, including over-the-counter medications.

An Unexpected Fake in Los Angeles

August 11, 2008

Bryan A. Liang, MD, PhD, JD

Botox treatment is one of the fastest-growing cosmetic procedures on the market today.  With the promise to eliminate wrinkles and fine lines, more and more baby boomers are turning to this product to fight the signs of aging.  However, in addition to battling wrinkles, the makers of Botox now find themselves fighting the illicit business of counterfeit drugs.  

Getting Back to Basics: Use the Standard VIPPS Categories

August 7, 2008

Shabby Standards

July 25, 2008

Bryan A.  Liang, MD, PhD, JD 

Earlier this week, I talked about India's opposition to IMPACT's proposed definition of a counterfeit medicine.  Indian "experts" claimed it would hurt their generic drug industry's exports, and I asked just who these "experts" were protecting if the IMPACT's focus was only non-legitimate producers.  

Defining the Problem

July 22, 2008

Bryan A.  Liang, MD, PhD, JD

Often understanding a problem begins with a definition.  The World Health Assembly, the decision-making body of the World Health Organization (WHO), meets each May to discuss public health issues and determine future WHO policies.  This year, WHO's constituted International Medical Products Anti-Counterfeiting Taskforce (IMPACT) introduced a resolution to update WHO's definition of a counterfeit medicine.  IMPACT proposed changing the definition from "deliberately and fraudulently" mislabeling a medicine's identity and source to the "false representation" of a medical product's identity, history or source.

Who’s Accountable

July 17, 2008

James N. Class, PhD

SafeMeds Q2 Postcard 06.16 (front) sm.jpg

Ryan HaightMarcia Bergeron.  They paid with their wallets for diverted and counterfeit drugs.  They also paid with their lives.  

Fake anti-hypertension, pain-reliever drugs seized

July 12, 2008

MANILA, Philippines — Agents of the National Bureau of Investigation (NBI) seized hundreds of counterfeit anti-hypertension and pain-relieving medicine in raids conducted in Manila and Caloocan City recently. Raided were Acebedo General Hospital on General Luis Street, Bagbaguin, Caloocan City, and Longlife Pharmaceutical Inc. on Benavidez Street, Binondo, Manila. By Tina G. Santos 12 July…

Spammers Beware

July 3, 2008

Thomas T. Kubic

Earlier this month, the Los Angels Times published a story that explored the extremely profitable relationship between spammers and drug counterfeiters.  For some time now, spammers have made money by sending countless emails to the public and then charging the credit cards of those who responded for products which never existed.  In some case, the spammers sold that credit card information to other criminals. 

Partnership for Safe Medicines Supports Stronger Online Pharmacy Regulation

June 25, 2008

Partnership for Safe Medicines Supports Stronger Online Pharmacy Regulation

June 25, 2008

The Threat Keeps Rising

June 25, 2008

Thomas T. Kubic

On a daily basis, many individuals unknowingly risk death or serious injury to their health by taking counterfeit drugs.  As executive director of the Pharmaceutical Security Institute (PSI), I see first-hand how counterfeiters thrive in countries where the anti-counterfeiting laws are weak; the drug regulatory agencies are underfunded and understaffed; and legal sanctions are ineffective.

Principles for Drug Safety

June 12, 2008

If Congress and the FDA truly want to avoid another deadly incident of failed drug safety, our policy makers must take this opportunity to address the other vulnerabilities threatening the safety of our prescription drugs. The Partnership for Safe Medicines has developed three core principles to support quality assurance programs and establish a drug distribution…

A Step in the Right Direction

May 22, 2008

Confusing Price With Safety

May 15, 2008

Bryan A. Liang, MD, PhD, JD

We all try to do our best, but even those in public service don't always get it right.  This seems to be the case when it comes to drug importation.  Supporters think that simply because drugs are purchased from "safe" countries as Canada and Britain, they are actually made there and are subject to strict health regulations and oversight.  But this is a dangerous misconception.

New Law Stops Criminals Who Sell Fake Drugs

May 14, 2008

Partnership for Safe Medicines Applauds FDA Reform Bill

May 1, 2008

Partnership for Safe Medicines Supports Change in Foreign Inspection Process

April 29, 2008

Ghana: Media Launch of Short Film

April 25, 2008

The Goethe-Institut and Pedigree last week Thursday, 17th of April, 2008 launched a short film to kickstart a campaign, against the circulation of fake drugs on the Ghanaian market. The event, held at the inner court of the Goethe-Institut premises at Cantonments, attracted practitioners from the media, diplomats, representatives of civil society, notably the Christian…

Consumer Protection Group Issues Statement About FDA’s Ability to Enforce Safety Regulations

April 24, 2008

Partnership for Safe Medicines Issues Statement About FDA Foreign Drug Inspection Program

April 22, 2008

Partnership for Safe Medicines Issues Statement About FDA Foreign Drug Inspection Program

April 22, 2008

Counterfeit Chinese made malaria medicines putting lives at risk

April 21, 2008

Fake Drugs Scam is Frightening

April 18, 2008

A EURO MP has welcomed moves to protect people from a multi-billion pound counterfeit drugs industry which is feared to kill half a million people each year. Criminals are plying people suffering from cancer and heart disease as well as psychiatric illnesses with fake medicine which is virtually indistinguishable from the real thing. 18 April…

Heparin Update: 62 Suspected U.S. Fatalities, 2 Upcoming Hearings

April 17, 2008

Marv Shepherd, PhD

The heparin fallout continues.  As an update to our March 13 post, the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) now reports 62, not 19, suspicious deaths in the United States linked to the blood thinner heparin, most of which occurred in December, January and February.  According to an article in the New York Times, investigations continue into whether the deaths were caused by the Chinese contaminant.

Illicit: The Dark Trade

April 17, 2008

The Partnership for Safe Medicines urges you to watch the groundbreaking film, Illicit: The Dark Trade, premiering nationwide tonight on PBS.  Based on the best-selling book by Dr. Moiss Nam, Illicit exposes the staggering impact counterfeiting and piracy has on the world economy, jobs, and consumer health and safety. 

Watch the Trailer
 Illicit Trailer.jpg

Federal Efforts to Combat Fake Meds

April 10, 2008

Regulating Online Pharmacies

March 27, 2008

Bryan A. Liang, MD, PhD, JD

According to some sources, there are at least 1,000 Web sites selling prescription drugs. Of course, not all of which are legitimate.  Considering the sheer number of hits an Internet search for "online pharmacy" returns, it's not surprising that the U.S. Senate has put the Online Pharmacy Consumer Protection Act of 2007 on its legislative calendar.  

Safe Alternatives for Reducing Healthcare Spending

March 20, 2008

Bryan A. Liang, MD, PhD, JD

Healthcare spending and prices are on the rise—again.  The Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services estimates that overall healthcare spending in America will reach $4.3 trillion annually by 2017. Given that healthcare costs are increasing at nearly three times the rate of inflation, it's no wonder Americans are seeking ways to keep their healthcare costs low. 

Heparin Havoc Continues

March 14, 2008

Bryan A. Liang, MD, PhD, JD

It looks as though the problems from China-sourced heparin are far from over.  An unknown substance, similar in chemical makeup to heparin, has been found in batches of the blood thinner produced by U.S.-based Baxter International and Germany-based Rotexmedica. 

Meeting of the Minds

March 11, 2008

Bryan A. Liang, MD, PhD, JD

It's an interesting phenomenon.  We have general agreement that fake medicines put people in harms way – but an increasing number of these drugs are entering the world's markets.  In fact, the World Health Organization estimates that up to 10 percent of all medicines are counterfeits, rising to 25 percent in some countries.

Sierra Leone: Fake Drugs Intercepted in Kono

March 7, 2008

Police personnel at Motema police station yesterday arrested a driver with four cartons of assorted pharmaceutical drugs at Mambodu junction in Kono district. Mustapha Kamara and his vehicle with registration number ADA 262 was stopped by the police for searching when the drugs were discovered. Kamara was being led to the station when a passenger…

Rights watch raises concern over President Jammeh’s HIV/AIDS “cure”

March 5, 2008

Dakar, Senegal – The United Nations and its member states are failing to address serious threats to life and health posed by the promotion of unproven AIDS 'cures' and by counterfeit antiretroviral drugs," a global rights body, Human Rights Watch, stated in a recently released dossier. In the dossier, titled "Dangerous medicines: Unproven AIDS cures…

Nigeria: Campaign On Danger of Fake Drugs Kicks-Off in Jabi Motor Park

February 29, 2008

The evil of fake drugs have been described as worse than the combined scourge of malaria, HIV/AIDS and armed robbery put together because they can be prevented or they kill few at a time but fake drugs kill en mass. Secretary of the FCT Task Force on Counterfeit and Fake Drugs, Hajia Hauwa Kulu Ibrahim,…