Monday, September 22, 2008

Getting a Clue on Importation

The credit markets may be going crazy, but at least our Presidential candidates are starting to make sense over importation.

According to Reuters, McCain, Obama rethink drug reimportation. From the article:

  • "Both candidates were in favor of reimportation and sort of subsequent to the heparin incident (there's) a lot less enthusiasm," said Dora Hughes, a health policy adviser to Democratic candidate Obama.
  • "We now realize the challenges for doing that are greater than before," Douglas Holtz-Eakin, a senior policy adviser to Republican candidate McCain, told reporters at the conference.

I’m glad that these advisers spent some time in their thinking chairs. Their conclusions should be no surprise to readers of Drug Channels given my posts on importation over the past few years. As I noted in April, the Heparin contamination has pushed the security of America’s pharmaceutical supply chain to the forefront of the news. I won’t even quibble that the dangers of importation are different from the (alleged) tainting of Heparin ingredients.

On a related note, check out this comment on the Reuters story from a new blog called PharmaComa. I’ll be keeping an eye on this blog because it’s written by Tim Marsh, Senior Manager of Global Packaging Technology at Pfizer – an actual pharmaceutical executive! Tim is also the co-chair of the GS1 Global Healthcare User Group and co-chair of the Global Traceability for Healthcare Working Group, so I’m looking forward to some good insights. Let’s see how long Pfizer lets him speak his mind.


  1. Glad they've backtracked a little. Still, they'll change direction faster than me when I'm lost in a city.

    Don't know Tim or his blog. I wonder if he is speaking his mind or Pfizer's? Hard to imagine a pharma company allowing that unless it is vetted before posting.

  2. I agree that backtracking is good news, but does this mean we will have more Part D price controls? Congress will want to squeeze pharmaceutical companies for as much as possible to pay for the banking bailout!

  3. Tim here. Yes my blog is not Pfizer or GS1 Healthcare opinion. It's just me sharing personal insights given my vantage point and experience. Thanks for linking in Adam. I hope your readers find the shared experience useful.

  4. Of coarse Adam is against importation. He is on the drug companies dole. There is a saying about not biting the hand that feeds you.

    Here is a thought. How bout we work towards making the supply chain safer, so we can enjoy the same low price drugs that everyone else living on the planet enjoys. And we stop making excuses for drug companies making billions on me to drugs.

  5. Heard Pfizer loses $2 billion in sales due to counterfeit Viagra? That's a lot of people taking fake meds...

    BTW-Counterfeits are in the US market. Granted this article is old.