Sunday, February 18, 2007

Greece is the Word

In case you missed it, the FDA issued a press release last Friday with the following statement:

"The Food and Drug Administration (FDA) has become aware that a number of Americans who placed orders for specific drug products over the Internet (Ambien, Xanax, Lexapro, and Ativan), instead received a product that, according to preliminary analysis, contains haloperidol, a powerful anti-psychotic drug."

Whoops! Note that the packages were postmarked in Greece, which entered the EU in 1981 and is therefore considered a permitted country by both the House and Senate importation bills. As I suggested in Importing Chinese Counterfeits, it would be depressingly easy for counterfeit drugs to pass through Greece on their way to the US.

The PARADE article that I mentioned on Friday (Is Your Medicine Dangerous to Your Health?) was mostly a rehash of previous stories. I was disappointed that it perpetuated the "RFID as magic bullet" solution, although I doubt many of its loyal readers are commercial operations executives. The article also sidestepped the counterfeit risks posed by importation legislation, simply warning people not to buy prescriptions online. The reader comments are scary, especially from two patients who are wondering if they have fake pills.

On the other hand, PARADE did keep me In Step With® Christina Ricci, so the issue wasn't a total loss...

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