Thursday, September 11, 2008

Obama and McCain Both Support Drug Re-Importation

As the 2008 Presidential Campaign heads into its inevitable heated conclusion and the individual campaigns separate themselves on the issues, it may be time to reflect briefly on an issue that both Barrack Obama and John McCain seem to be in agreement.

Both Barrack Obama and John McCain have publically stated their support of drug re-importation as a way to curb the high price of pharmaceuticals.

Given this seemingly rare consensus it is important to realize that there is a significant possibility that drug re-importation may become a reality once the new administration comes into power.

There are certainly many pros and cons to the issue and many reasons why there is significant support for this stance by both candidates. It is important however to understand the considerable danger that re-importation magnifies if it becomes law.

As we all know by now, the issue of counterfeit, adulterated and contaminated drugs has been proliferating both domestically and globally dramatically in recent years. To date the United States has little in the way of regulations or solutions in place to adequately protect the domestic pharmaceutical supply chain from this threat, outside of weak state pedigree laws which attempt to track the transaction of drugs from the manufacturer to the drug store.

If the re-importation of drugs becomes a reality, the potential threat of even more counterfeit, adulterated and contaminated medications reaching the American consumer will automatically triple given the supply chain’s inability to adequately track and authenticate the actual contents of the medication.

This is where XStream Systems technology can save the day. XStream’s XT250 system has the ability to authenticate and verify the contents of a sealed container in a non-destructive manner. Authenticating the contents of the imported pharmaceuticals will be critical in making certain that pharmaceuticals imported from other countries are clinically safe and efficacious.

Please visit XStream Systems website at for more information on this technology.

Wednesday, September 10, 2008

Do counterfeiters have no shame?

Who would target innocent children in the pursuit of money? Fourteen babies have been hospitalized with kidney stones after drinking what is thought to be counterfeit baby formula. This recent scheme seems targeted toward the poorer rural areas of China where young families have turned to discounted milk powder to lower their household costs.

Why did they choose infant formula? – Well, just as in the case of the adulterated heparin, as demand exceeds supply so does the increased risk of susceptibility to counterfeiting. Over the past few years, increases in the cost of raw milk coupled with the decrease of dairy farming have further complicated this matter.

Sanlu, one of the four largest powdered milk companies in China, has stated that the product labeled as theirs is a fake and has sent their own personnel to investigate. This, however, is little consolation to the poor rural families whose babies are now suffering.

This is not the first case of deadly Chinese baby formula. In 2004, thirteen infants died and 170 were left malnutrition and underdeveloped by counterfeit formulas with little or no nutritional value which were sold under 45 different brands and manufactured in over 141 different factories.

The mere expanse of the operation is disheartening and its implications frightening in light of the fact that China is one of the largest exporters in pharmaceutical ingredients to the U.S.

We must fortify our inspection and authentication methods to ensure our brands integrity. Fool me once shame on you …. Fool me twice shame on me.