While writing last Monday’s RxTrace essay I ran out of time before I could get to the point I originally intended to make, so here is the conclusion to my thoughts on the topic.
The point I wanted to make is that there is a big difference between the goal of serialization and that of most other anti-counterfeiting technologies. Most anti-counterfeiting technologies covered in Mark Davison’s essential book on the topic, “Pharmaceutical Anti-Counterfeiting, Combating the Real Danger from Fake Drugs“, are technologies that a given manufacturer chooses to place in or on their drug, or on their drug’s packaging so that they can later differentiate it from potential counterfeit versions. That is, so that they can later “authenticate” only the drugs that they truly manufactured.
Ed Silverman has just raised my awareness in his Pharmalot blog for today that the Wall Street Journal is reporting that the first physician has pleaded guilty to purchasing illegal foreign drugs in the counterfeit Avastin series of crimes from earlier this year. That’s swift justice and I love it. Apparently there are more to come. Hopefully it will serve to remind all physicians that they need to only buy from licensed and legitimate sources. Their patient’s lives depend their knowledge and skills… but also on their pharmaceutical buying practices
Rather than repeat Ed and WSJ, just go read the articles yourself by clicking here:
Counterfeiting of drugs has become a favorite activity of organized criminals and it negatively impacts the citizens of every country in the world. The pharma industry is multi-national, the criminals are multi-national, the patients that are harmed are multi-national. What we need now more than ever before is a multi-national approach to fighting these crimes.
Perhaps the aggressiveness of the response date is a reflection of how important this piece of proposed legislation is. That is, if you think it is important, then you will immediately drop whatever it was you were doing and get right to the task of providing a detailed reply so they can make sure the final draft reflects your preferences. I don’t know what you’ve been up to, but this is my third essay about it. 😉
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