Monday, June 16, 2008

What Measures Can Ensure the Integrity of Purchased Pharmaceuticals?

The integrity of our pharmaceutical supply chain is being questioned! Diversion, counterfeited products and adulterated ingredients have left consumers, regulators, and dispensers clamoring for more stringent anti-counterfeiting methods. Furthermore, the recent heparin recalls have emphasized the need for protection not only of the finished product, but also of the raw materials used in the production of medications.

James C. McAllisterIn the May issue of Pharmacy Times, James C. McAllister, a health-systems consultant, addresses the security responsibilities of all players within the supply chain to combat these threats.

Mr. McAllister states, “Solving this dilemma will be challenging. Collaboration of pharmacists, manufacturers, wholesalers, and distributors, as well as regulatory agencies at the state and national level, should begin expeditiously.”

He moves forward to suggest that manufacturers bear all recall costs and financial responsibility for the quality of their drugs. For distributors and manufacturers, he asks that the FDA levy heavy economic sanctions on those selling substandard drugs. His proposal is a wake up call to the risks that are present – Those who risk our health – Risk their wealth.

Which begs the question - How do your anti-counterfeiting methods measure up?

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