Thursday, March 6, 2008

Part 3: Who is liable when a counterfeit or adulterated medication gets to the consumer?

Liability Opinion Series (3 of 4)
by Alan Clock, Senior Vice President, Sales and Marketing
XStream Systems, Inc.

While attending the SecurePharma 2008 Conference in Philadelphia, the liability issue was tasked to a legal expert in product liability law. Basically in all of the recent case law he studied and presented, legal precedence dictates that the majority of responsibility falls onto the distributor and dispenser as it relates to counterfeit or adulterated medications that pass through them onto the consumer.

Not to be absolved altogether, the manufacturers are facing a whole new set of liabilities, since over 80% of their raw materials and in many cases a growing portion of their production comes from international sources. These are sources which are coming under intense scrutiny because of their lack of oversight and general quality control.

Going forward, the reality is everyone within the pharmaceutical supply chain is going to bear the responsibility and ultimately the liability for the protection of their portion of the supply chain. Until recently, that seemed like an impossible task given that their only tools were bar codes and pedigrees that in fact were easier to counterfeit or adulterate than the materials within the containers.

In the next and final segment to this series, I'll bring up how XStream and the XT250 System work to the manufacturer's, wholesaler's, distributor's, and dispenser's advantage.

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