Monday, August 16, 2010

SecuringPharma: German Pharmacies Infiltrated by Fake Medicines

Phil Taylor wrote and posted a story August 12th in SecuringPharma about a scandal that involves dozens of pharmacies in the northern portion of Germany that are being investigated about the distribution of illegal medicines, including counterfeits.

Mr. Taylor reports that “the case suggests that far from being mainly a risk associated with purchase of medicines over the Internet, in some parts of Germany counterfeit and otherwise illegal drugs may be on pharmacy shelves and getting into the hands of patients.”

Also included in the posted story:

· Prosecutors have brought charges against one pharmacist from the Braunschweig region who is accused of handling €1.68m-worth and are investigating several others, according to a report by German business magazine Markt.

· The affairs of other pharmacies in Hamburg, Celle, Verden and Kiel are also being probed, according to the report, which notes that the counterfeit goods being traded included not only lifestyle medicines such as impotency drugs and bodybuilding products, but also painkillers, antibiotics and cancer treatments.

· Among the practices alleged to have been carried out by the pharmacists is mixing of illegally-acquired medicines with legitimate, genuine product.

· Last year, Germany suffered other high-profile cases in which counterfeit versions of GlaxoSmithKline's Combivir (lamivudine and zidovudine) and Boehringer Ingelheim's Viramune (nevirapine) - both used to treat HIV infection. The fakes were discovered in the legal supply chain, Combivir in Bremen and Viramune on the island of Sylt in northern Germany.

The suspected introduction and mixing of counterfeit medications into the trusted supply that consumers rely upon to be safe, make this a very troubling story.

When one of the most trusted health care professionals, pharmacists, poison their own supply chain with fraudulent, counterfeit medications, the only protection is in the members of the supply chain routinely verifying the safety and clinical efficacy of the product through authentication technologies.

Secure Pharma Chain encourages everyone within the pharmaceutical supply chain to deploy a variety of technologies, specifically authentication solutions to protect their inventories from fraudulent, adulterated and counterfeit medications. Authentication solutions go beyond pedigree or track and trace solutions and verifies to the end user what is inside the box within their inventories.

Knowing where the box has been is important but knowing what is inside the box is critical.

To read the SecuringPharma post, visit:

To learn more about authentication solutions, visit:

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