Add Shire Pharmaceuticals to the list of companies that should be wondering about the integrity of its pharmacy and wholesale channels.
In October 2008, a shipment of Carbatrol and Adderall XR was stolen en route from Shire’s manufacturing facility to its own distribution center. Two weeks ago, Shire notified its trade accounts that "Carbatrol from the stolen lots has started to appear in our expired returns and more stolen product may still be on the market."
Pharmaceutical cargo thefts are on the rise, but every stolen drug needs a buyer for the fenced goods.
So, who's buying?
Here's the official announcement posted on the FDA site: Shire Pharmaceuticals Notification about Stolen Carbatrol Appearing as Expired Returns
Last month, I posed the question How did stolen GSK product end up in pharmacies? Now we have another high profile example of stolen product re-entering the legitimate supply chain because someone, somewhere purchased the fenced drugs from a secondary market. I think it's safe to assume that the thieves are not on Shire's Authorized Distributor of Record (ADR) list.
Meanwhile, Senator Byron "Buh-Bye" Dorgan (D-ND) said he'll make a new effort to allow prescription drug imports before leaving office.(source) But now we have to worry that parallel trade, a.k.a. government-sanctioned diversion, will take jobs from our hard-working domestic criminals. I think pharmacy buyers should only purchase stolen and mishandled drugs from good ol' red-white-and-blue diverters, don't you?.