Tag Archives: Congress

What If RxTEC Isn’t Adopted?

I did not participate in the development of the Pharmaceutical Traceability Enhancement Code (RxTEC), a proposed Congressional bill that was created by the industry lobbying group known as the Pharmaceutical Distribution Security Alliance (PDSA).  In fact, while I was aware that a group had been formed last year I wasn’t aware that they were working on drafting an actual proposed bill until their discussion draft (dated February 27, 2012) appeared on the internet about 10 days ago.  I first saw it on Ed Silverman’s Pharmalot blog.

I also saw a presentation by one of the members of the PDSA last week that touched on the RxTEC proposal.  It was characterized as a “stepping-stone” to full traceability in the U.S. supply chain someday down the road.  In other words, the PDSA apparently means that their RxTEC proposal isn’t the final destination but it is only the first step toward that ideal.  At least, that’s how I interpreted that “stepping-stone” comment.


Now this is a concept that is familiar to me.  In fact, as an idea stripped of all of the RxTEC-specific details, it is identical to the idea beneath the approach I proposed in a pair of RxTrace essays last May and June called “Plateaus of Pharma Supply Chain Security” and “SNI’s Are Not Enough In a Plateau-Based Supply Chain Security Approach”.

This single underlying idea originates, on both accounts, from the fact that the amount of illegitimate activities within the U.S. supply chain is really quite small compared with the rest of the world (see my essay, “Illegitimate Drugs In The U.S. Supply Chain: Needle In A Haystack”), and to reduce it further will take Continue reading What If RxTEC Isn’t Adopted?

STEP #1: Raise Penalties For Drug Crimes To Reflect The Widespread Harm They Can Inflict

Last Thursday a bipartisan group of U.S. Senators and Representatives jointly introduced a bicameral bill that would significantly increase the criminal penalties for drug counterfeiting to as much as 20 years in prison, as reported by Phil Taylor in SecuringPharma (see the article for the details).  The house bill is called H. R. 3468, The Counterfeit Drug Penalty Enhancement Act.  The group of legislators include U.S. Senators Patrick Leahy (D-VT), Chuck Grassley (R-IA), Michael Bennet (D-CO), and Richard Blumenthal (D-CT) and U.S. Representatives Patrick Meehan (R-PA) and Linda Sánchez (D-CA).  Not surprisingly the responses from the Pharmaceutical Research and Manufacturers of America (PhRMA) and Pfizer were swift and supportive.

Raising the penalties for counterfeiting drugs to the point where they adequately reflect the widespread harm they can cause the public is a very good thing.  It should have the effect of making people think twice about selling counterfeit drugs to Americans through the internet or attempting to introduce them into the legitimate supply chain (brick-and-mortar and legitimate internet pharmacies).  It may even cause more people in the legitimate supply chain to Continue reading STEP #1: Raise Penalties For Drug Crimes To Reflect The Widespread Harm They Can Inflict