Monday, March 14, 2011

The Fight Against Counterfeit Drugs (video)

Last night, 60 minutes ran a 13 minute story called "The Fight Against Counterfeit Drugs," narrated by America's favorite medi-journalist Dr. Sanjay Gupta. The video is embedded below.

The story is reasonably well told, with examples of counterfeit drugs from Pfizer, Lilly, and others. Dr. Gupta cites the fact that an estimated 36 million people from the U.S. have purchased medicines from "rogue" online pharmacies, many of which claim (falsely) to be from Canada. As one U.S. customs officer says, fake drugs are "a big threat and an exploding threat."

The last third of the story gets a bit muddled because it intermingles the dangers of knock-offs with the risks of contamination in the legitimate supply chain. As a result, offshore production looks more dangerous than it really is.

Nevertheless, the video is worth watching. Check it out below and let me know what you think.

Click here if you can't see the embedded video. You can also view four additional web-only videos on the CBS site.



7 comments:

  1. Adam what is your thoughts on this ?

    ReplyDelete
  2. Adam:

    Dr. Gupta's report focuses on a serious problem. There is no doubt that counterfeit drugs are a serious problem outside of the US.Unfortunately, he failed to mention that the FDA has the power -- but not the will -- to stop most of the importation of these drugs to consumers.They should be forced to do so!

    As to the importation of Active Product Ingredient [API], the FDA CGMP rules require that the manufacturer must carefully test these materials before they can be used to make finished dosage forms. The segment was needless alarmist in that regard.

    Mike Winkelman, R.Ph.

    ReplyDelete
  3. I agree with Mike. The CBS segment misrepresented the issue by running two unrelated problems together in an attempt to create "newsworthy" urgency. The ingredient and component supply chain for manufacturers is a serious issue, but not counterfeiting. It calls for different business and regulatory responses than Peruvian backyard counterfeiters who have replicated the Pfizer logo and packaging.

    I am not aware of any credible estimate of the scope and size of counterfeits in the US pharmaceutical market, nor any assesment of teh health impact.

    Mounting an effective response is depenedent on a realistic assessment and definition of the problem. Dr. Gupta's segment did not further this end.

    ReplyDelete
  4. According to The Hill, this story had more impact that I expected:

    The chairman of the Senate Judiciary Committee said Monday his panel would take up legislation to combat counterfeiting in response to a “60 Minutes” probe that found tens of thousands of fake prescription pills enter the U.S. each year.

    See Senate Judiciary to consider drug counterfeiting.

    Adam

    ReplyDelete
  5. AnonymousJune 28, 2011

    Counterfeit drugs from a Canadian On-line Drug company put me in ICU in Thailand. The Doctors there told me that my Plavix blood thinner was from India and a fake. They have notice from their government about it. Even in the US, FAKE DRUGS abound and you can get them at your trusted pharmacy as they enter the system at the distribution chain looking exactly like the real thing. but, in many cases just starch, coloring and maybe some flavoring. It is a global multi-billion dollar organized criminal issue that is killing thousands of people who are not getting the drug that they need. India has the death penalty but it doesn't stop the production of fake drugs that make it to the far corners of the globe. Many others come from criminals in China.

    The Senate Judiciary Committee should evoke the death penalty for any involved in counterfeiting medications. It might make a few thing twice but the problem will continue in spite of the penalty.

    ReplyDelete
  6. According to The Hill, this story had more impact that I expected:

    The chairman of the Senate Judiciary Committee said Monday his panel would take up legislation to combat counterfeiting in response to a “60 Minutes” probe that found tens of thousands of fake prescription pills enter the U.S. each year.

    See Senate Judiciary to consider drug counterfeiting.

    Adam

    ReplyDelete
  7. well i have been telling the police my Dr My familey and the pharmaceys some one is switching my meds for two years now and every one thinks I am a little off my rocker the funny thing is ive told the wife all the diffrent systums taste funny effects are diffrent Oh well i will just lay in bed because i dont fuction wth out my meds

    ReplyDelete

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