Friday, October 31, 2008

Pharmaceutical Regulatory News Headlines - Week of October 31, 2008

In the United States, Halloween is the day for Tricks and Treats. But - Globally regulatory authorities have Penalties not Treats for would be counterfeiters.

Here are a few of stories that we at XStream Systems think are noteworthy as it relates to the ever growing issues of counterfeit and adulterated medications. Global regulatory authorities are now recognizing the increasing threat these fraudulent products place on their citizens and are taking legal actions to discourage it:

Saudi Arabia: Local Markets Flooded with Counterfeit Drugs
Agreements were made on Tuesday to step up legal action against counterfeiters in Saudi Arabia to ensure consumer safety. According to Abdullah Al-Abdelgader, a pharmaceutical manufacturing director, counterfeit drugs account for around 30-40 percent of medicines sold at local pharmacies and hospitals in Saudi Arabia and expose consumers to great risk. In the Gulf area, the counterfeiting economy accounts for $13 billion, with a share of $4 billion in the Saudi market. ("Some 30-40% of Medicines Sold Locally 'Are Counterfeit', Says Manufacturer," Saudi Gazette, October 22, 2008)

FDA Oversight of Foreign Drugs Lacking
The Food and Drug Administration is failing to keep accurate data about foreign drug facilities it is supposed to oversee and often doesn't follow up warning letters with inspections, according to a report by the Government Accountability Office. The House Energy and Commerce Committee introduced a bill that would mandate foreign inspections at a rate close to that of FDA inspections of U.S. plants. U.S. companies are inspected about every 2.7 years, but the rate for foreign inspections is roughly once every 13 years. ("FDA Is Faulted for Oversight of Foreign Drugs," Wall Street Journal, October 21, 2008)

Nigeria: Government Takes Steps to Block Counterfeit Drugs
The National Agency for Food and Drugs Administration and Control (NAFDAC) has blocked 22 Indian pharmaceutical companies from importing and distributing drugs in Nigeria. The agency has outlawed the use of about 40 imported drugs in the country, describing them as potentially dangerous for human consumption. As part of its efforts to curb drug counterfeits, NAFDAC is advocating for greater public education and awareness. ("Fake Drugs: NAFDAC Bans 22 Indian Firms,", October 22, 2008)

XStream Systems thinks that its penetrating authentication technology can be an integral part of the comprehensive solution to this global problem.

No comments: