Thursday, February 18, 2010

Three Lebanese Pharmacies Closed for Selling Counterfeit Drugs

The following story is another example of the growth of the problem of fraudulent, adulterated and counterfeit drugs in the Middle East and the most recent efforts within the region by government authorities to protect their populations from this deadly issue.

This kind of action, as related in the story, is becoming all too commonplace within the Middle East and around the globe as government regulatory agencies are now beginning to respond to the issue of counterfeit medications which is impacting the health and welfare of consumers everywhere.

The February 17th edition of the Lebanese newspaper, Daily Star, report on three pharmacies being shut down in Lebanon for selling counterfeit drugs. The article was written by Carol Rizk.

The closing of the three pharmacies is in response to a Lebanese judicial decision to shut down all outlets selling counterfeit drugs.

In addition the overall issue of counterfeit drugs is prompting talks with Prime Minister Saad Hariri and the head of the Pharmacists Union Ziad Nassour.

According to the Daily Star:

• A security source told The Daily Star that it was yet to be determined whether the pharmacies were closed permanently or temporarily. The sources said the pharmacies would be reprimanded if they do not abide by the closure period mentioned in the judicial decision. “They form part of a whole network of pharmacies [which deal with counterfeit drugs],” the sources added.
• The Health Ministry had closed down in January nine pharmacies and four medical supplies warehouses for their alleged involvement in the smuggling and sale of counterfeit drugs.
• The medication mainly concerned is a counterfeit version of the drug Plavix, a type of heart medication designed to keep blood platelets from coagulating. It was discovered in one of the pharmacies and was believed to have been manufactured abroad and brought into the country illegally through China and Dubai.
• On Tuesday, the head of Pharmacists Union asked the prime minister to “relentlessly” pursue the matter and to forbid any politician from protecting those involved.
• He said that practical measures are to be taken on Wednesday and hoped that one day he would see a “Lebanon clean from counterfeit medicines.”
• He (Nassour) also stressed on applying the Health Ministry’s decision number 1/29 that mentioned the need to follow the course of any drug from warehouses to pharmacies and hospitals and finally to the patient or client.
• Sukarieh doubted that the entire stocks of the drug had been removed from the market and recalled a similar incident two years ago when 13 hospitals were involved in counterfeit drugs for cancer and AIDS. But he noted that the case was handled discretely and that the hospitals were still open.

Although many countries have laws and regulations in place, most have little resources to effectively police and punish individuals and entities from perpetrating this often life threatening crime.

Secure Pharma Chain Blog and XStream Systems encourages all public authorities and private members of the pharmaceutical supply chain to take aggressive actions in both pursuing perpetrators who deal in counterfeit medications and in securing the supply chain. As continuously reported in this blog the impact of fraudulent, adulterated and counterfeit medications to the health of consumers and to the bottom line of business can fatal to both if not properly secured.

A comprehensive, multi-layered approach is encouraged, to properly protect all of the members of the supply chain and consumers from the impact of bogus drugs. To learn more about these solutions, visit:

To read the entire Daily Star article, visit:

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