Friday, April 2, 2010

New York Times Op/Ed: Are You Buying Illicit Drugs?

In a New York Times Op/Ed published on March 31st, author Katherine Eban and Aaron Graham, former DEA Agent write about the recent pharmaceutical thefts and how this trend is made possible by “our haphazardly regulated pharmaceutical supply chain and the dangerous gray market that intersects it.”

According to the Op/Ed, “As soon as medicines leave manufacturers' loading docks, they enter a market teeming with middlemen, many legitimate, but some not. The drugs may move through a dozen hands, through small secondary wholesalers and repackagers. With so many middlemen involved, thieves can easily unload stolen drugs, which may be resold to pharmacies and hospitals and dispensed."

Ms. Eban and Mr. Graham then go onto detail to describe some of the more egregious recent incidents of pharmaceutical theft, diversion and counterfeiting.

Ultimately Ms. Eban and Mr. Graham conclude that the most effective way to deal with this growing epidemic which threatens the healthcare of consumers everywhere is through technologies that Track and Trace drugs throughout the supply chain. While Track and Trace technologies are important, they are limited in their effectiveness in that they were initially designed and implemented as inventory management tools. Basically these tools tell the supply chain where the box has been.

We at Secure Pharma Chain Blog believe that while it is important to know where the drug has been, ultimately knowing what is inside the box properly protects both the supply chain and the consumer. Track and Trace technologies require a comprehensive and complex, daisy chain of data flow while Authentication Technologies like XStream Systems’ XT250 can tell you what is inside the box and if it is safe to consume without maintaining an elaborate transaction pedigree.

The best solution is a multi-layered approach of a variety of solutions that thwart the opportunity for criminal organizations to profit from their deadly activities.

To learn more about authentication solutions, visit:

To read the New York Times Op/Ed, visit:

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