Anti-counterfeiting coalition supports Giuliani to protect public from fake drugs

The Partnership for Safe Medicines, a nonprofit coalition of more than 40 healthcare and anti-counterfeiting groups, today expressed support for Mayor Giuliani and the National Association of Boards of Pharmacy (NABP) to educate Americans about the dangers of buying medicines from unknown, foreign sources and to tighten the rules for the distribution and sale of prescription drugs in the United States.

"We applaud Mayor Giuliani's efforts to bring more attention to the real public safety dangers of counterfeit medicine," said Lew Kontnik, counterfeiting expert and co-author of the book 'Counterfeiting Exposed.' "The NABP model rules provide for a tighter chain of custody for prescription drugs, and they should be adopted nationwide."

The NABP model rules call for stronger licensing requirements to ensure the integrity of the U.S. drug distribution system including: background checks, more complete pedigrees and accountability throughout the distribution system, inspections and due diligence procedures, creating a national list of susceptible products, implementing better tracking technologies, and tougher administrative and criminal penalties for violations. (For further information, visit http://www.nabp.net.)

"Serious people who look at importation see that it is completely flawed and unnecessarily risks the safety of all of our medicines," said spokesman for the Larry King Cardiac Foundation and multiple sclerosis patient Mark Barondess. "I hope the Surgeon General, who has been leading a thoughtful inquiry by medical professionals of importation from a health and safety perspective, takes note of today's announcement. And I hope the Surgeon General's task force calls for national adoption of tougher anti- counterfeiting standards, so that people like me who take four or five medicines every day will be able to breathe a little easier." "Doctors need to know that when they prescribe a drug for a patient, they will be able to get real medicine that really does what it should," said Dr. Rene Rodriguez, president of the Interamerican College of Physicians and Surgeons.

In its February 2004 report, Combating Counterfeit Drugs, the FDA said it "has recently seen an increase in counterfeiting activities as well as increased sophistication in the methods used to introduce finished dosage form counterfeits into the otherwise legitimate U.S. drug distribution system ... Thus, drug counterfeiting poses real public health and safety concerns today, and may pose an even greater threat in the future if we fail to take preventative measures now ... Although exact prevalence rates in the U.S. are not known, outside the U.S. drug counterfeiting is known to be widespread and affect both developing and developed countries. In some countries more than half of the drug supply may consist of counterfeit drugs."

 
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