Saturday, October 30, 2010

Fake Drugs Mean Prison for St. Louis County Man

Man to be sentenced for trafficking in bogus erectile dysfunction drugs that were purchased on-line.

Robert Patrick in the St. Louis Post Dispatch reports about a St. Louis County man who has pleaded guilty to federal charges and admitted to selling thousands of counterfeit erectile dysfunction pills over the last several years.

According to the St. Louis Post Dispatch story:

• Mark Hughes, 47, ordered counterfeit versions of the drugs Viagra and Cialis online from China and India, and sold them either in an illegal and unlicensed pharmacy or via word of mouth, Assistant U.S. Attorney John Bodenhausen said in court.

• Hughes' last shipment, of 1,000 pills, was intercepted by U.S. Customs and Border Protection in 2009 and delivered by investigators. Hughes house was then searched and he admitted buying roughly 11,000 pills. He sold them for $5 each, roughly one-third of the wholesale price, Bodenhausen said.

• Bodenhausen said that the pills either did not contain the correct drug or contained a less potent dose of the drug.

• In court, Hughes pleaded guilty to trafficking in counterfeit goods and misbranding a drug, and could face at least two years in prison under federal sentencing guidelines when sentenced in January, depending on a number of factors.

This is an excellent cautionary tale regarding those who set out to scam people by buying bogus goods online.

Mr. Hughes is fortunate that the bogus drugs that he sold did not adversely effect the health or kill someone or he would be facing a far more serious consequences.

Bogus drugs are becoming one of the more significant health care issues of the 21st century. 11,000 doses of a potentially lethal, fraudulent or adulterated drug could poison and create a huge health care disaster within a communities population.

Kudos to U.S. Customs and Border Protection for intercepting these bogus medications.

To learn about pharmaceutical anti-counterfeit solutions, visit:

Friday, October 29, 2010

State of Connecticut Medicaid Program to Receive Part of GSK Settlement

GlaxoSmithKline will pay Connecticut $1.72 million as part of a larger nationwide settlement related to selling tainted, sub-standard and defective prescription drugs.

Related to a post earlier this week regarding GSK's huge financial settlement, the money will be paid to Connecticut's Medicaid program as a small fraction of a $750 million overall settlement.

"GlaxoSmithKline's dumping of defective drugs on Connecticut Medicaid recipients is shocking and shameful," said Attorney General Richard Blumenthal. "Such a massive failure to follow formulation and sanitation standards is unacceptable and inexplicable. The company endangered patient health -- and pumped up profits -- by providing tainted tablets."

GlaxoSmithKline allegedly sold four drugs to Medicaid that were contaminated at the company's plant in Cidra, Puerto Rico. Those drugs were:

-Paxil CR, an antidepressant that had either no active ingredient or only the active ingredient without the controlled-release aspects of the pill.

-Avandament, a diabetes medication that had too much or too little of the active ingredient.

-Kytil, an anti-nausea drug that had some impurities.

-Bactroban, antibiotic ointments and creams that contained microorganisms.

The company's head of global litigation, Elpidio Villarreal, said, "We regret that we operated the Cidra facility in a manner that was inconsistent with current Good Manufacturing Practice requirements and with GSK's commitment to manufacturing quality. GSK worked hard to resolve fully the manufacturing issues at the Cidra facility prior to its closure in 2009 and we are committed to continuous improvement in our manufacturing processes."

Secure Pharma Chain is noticing an influx of quality control or poor manufacturing issues that are not just related to overseas contract manufacturing.

The dangers that these incidents pose to consumers all over the globe are serious and significant.

It is important that all members of the pharmaceutical supply chain authenticate and verify the quality and efficacy of their inventories to avoid liability and to protect their individual brands.

To learn more about pharmaceutical authentication technologies, visit:

Thursday, October 28, 2010

B Braun Recalls Possibly Tainted Heparin

Recall linked back to the 2007/2008 Heparin crisis that poisoned hundreds.

Andrew Zajac from the Los Angeles Times is reporting about the recent announcement by B. Braun Medical Inc., of a recall of seven lots of the anticoagulant heparin because of concerns they may be contaminated with trace amounts of oversulfated chondroitin sulfate, or OSCS, the same substance implicated in the 2008 heparin crisis that killed or seriously sickened dozens of people.

According to the Mr. Zajac’s report:

• The company said in a statement that based on current information, the recalled lots did not pose a significant health risk, but they're being pulled from the market "with the support of the U.S. Food and Drug Administration."

• "There is not a significant public health threat," FDA spokeswoman Karen Riley said.

• The active ingredient in the suspect heparin was manufactured by Scientific Protein Laboratories Inc. of Waunakee, Wis., the same company that supplied the active ingredient for the heparin distributed by Baxter International that poisoned hundreds of patients in late 2007 and early 2008.

• Riley said B. Braun's announcement reflected a decision by Scientific Protein to recall three lots of the heparin ingredient that were distributed to manufacturers in the United States, Canada and Japan. It was not immediately clear how many, if any, other manufacturers are affected by the recall.

• Both the heparin in the poisonings and in the B. Braun recall were manufactured with raw material – pig intestines – from China. An FDA-led inquiry at the time of the heparin crisis identified OSCS as the contaminant. The substance apparently was added in an effort to stretch heparin, which is subject to significant fluctuations in supply because of changes in the Chinese pig population.

• The FDA has not identified who was responsible for the adulteration, or where in the lengthy Chinese supply chain it occurred. The heparin in the B. Braun recall also is from the same batch discussed in a recent FDA inspection that found that Scientific Protein waited a year to investigate a complaint about possible OSCS contamination.

• Riley said the heparin ingredient was manufactured by Scientific Protein in 2006 and was determined to contain traces of OSCS by one of the company's medical industry customers, which called it to the company's attention in October 2008.

• Scientific Protein's "quality department did not initiate a formal investigation into this complaint until 9/9/09," according to the FDA inspection report. It's not clear whether the complaining customer was B. Braun.

Many of the facts of this incident remain to be seen and or made public. It is anticipated that there will be more voluntary recalls and information over the next several days.

Secure Pharma Chain is puzzled with this recent turn of events given the amount of scrutiny that the 2007/2008 Heparin crisis elicited within the government, industry and consumers world wide. It would appear that not all the bases were covered within the supply chain following the deaths of some many back in 2007/2008.

Secure Pharma Chain encourages all within the supply chain to avoid the issues of fraudulent, adulterated, sub-standard and counterfeit drugs by deploying authentication technologies to verify that their inventories are safe and efficacious.

To read the entire story, visit:,0,2834227.story

To learn more about pharmaceutical authentication technologies, visit:

New York Times: Glaxo to Pay $750M for Sale of Bad Products

Regulators say that GlaxoSmithKline, the British drug giant, knowingly sold tainted baby ointment, an ineffective antidepressant and contaminated drugs.

In an article written by Gardiner Harris and Duff Wilson which appeared in the New York Times-GlaxoSmithKline, the drug giant, has agreed to pay $750 million to settle criminal and civil complaints that the company for years knowingly sold contaminated baby ointment and an ineffective antidepressant.

The following are the highlights from the New York Times article:

• This settlement is the latest in a growing number of whistle-blower lawsuits that drug makers have settled with multimillion-dollar fines.

Altogether, GlaxoSmithKline sold 20 drugs with questionable safety that were made at a huge plant in Puerto Rico that for years was rife with contamination.

• Cheryl D. Eckard, the company’s quality manager, asserted in her whistle-blower suit that she had warned Glaxo of the problems but the company fired her instead of addressing them.

• Among the drugs affected were Paxil, an antidepressant; Bactroban, an ointment; Avandia, a troubled diabetes drug; Coreg, a heart drug; and Tagamet, an acid reflex drug.

• No patients were known to have been sickened, although such cases would be difficult to trace.

This is the latest in a string of quality control issues at pharmaceutical manufacturers both domestically and abroad.

Most troubling is that the contamination's impact to consumers is difficult to trace. No one can be certain if bad product may have had a significant or even lethal impact on its consumer.

While the financial settlements to GSK and others is large, overiding these amounts is the cost to their brands in lost trust and consumer confidence.

It is critical that all members of the pharmaceutical supply chain utilize technologies to protect their products, inventories and ultimately the consumer from poor quality, adulteration, fraud and counterfeiting.

To read the entire New York Times article, visit:

To learn more about pharmaceutical authentication solutions, visit:

Wednesday, October 27, 2010

Healthcare Fraud Costing EU €56bn a Year

In Europe alone, the fake drugs market is estimated to be worth more than €10.5bn every year. posted a story about a study stating that €56 billion is lost to healthcare fraud each year in the EU.
In the October 6th post, claims that experts say conflicts of interest in the pharmaceutical sector mean that the true extent of expenditure being directed away from patients remains unknown.

The study by The European Healthcare Fraud and Corruption Network (EHFCN) was done to determine “the burden healthcare fraud places on society and facilitate the exchange of best practice on its detection.”

The research was conducted in the countries of Belgium, France, the Netherlands, Northern Ireland, Norway, Poland, Slovenia and Scotland and was presented at the EHFCN conference in Brussels in September.

According to the EHFCN report:

• The vast number of parties involved in the healthcare sector and the subsequent potential complexity of fraud schemes means that special fraud detectors - professionals already working in health care - have to be employed in order to carry out investigations into bills, patient notes and medication receipts.

Trade in counterfeit medicines has exploded and it is now estimated that global counterfeit drug sales will reach €60 billion this year. In Europe alone, the fake drugs market is estimated to be worth more than €10.5bn every year.

Low quality treatment - including from unqualified practitioners, forged receipts and sickness certificates, price cartels and the provision of counterfeit medicines - were identified as contributing to a phenomenon difficult to measure but ringing alarm bells at a time when austerity measures are being undertaken across the EU.

• 4,188 instances of suspected fraud were identified in the study, which was carried out in seven member states. The Netherlands and Belgium - working under a 'pay for service' system where doctors have an incentive to provide as much treatment as possible - hold the highest rates.

Hopefully this study will bring awareness to government, industry leaders and consumers to the negative impact that fraudulent, adulterated, sub-standard and counterfeit drugs have on health care and populations as a whole.

Secure Pharma Chain believes that it is important that all members of the pharmaceutical supply chain take proactive measures to deploy solutions to protect their inventories and provide themselves with a competitive edge as consumers begin to understand the potential risks of counterfeit and fraudulent medications.

To read the entire story, visit:

To learn about pharmaceutical anti-counterfeiting technologies, visit:

Tuesday, October 26, 2010

Officials Investigating Fake Avastin Production

Chinese health officials and police are investigating a pharmaceutical plant, Cancer Center, hospital employees and pharmaceutical dealers for the use and production of fake Avastin that harmed 61 patients last month.

Caj Wenjun in the October 23rd edition of the Shanghai Daily reports on the Chinese State Food and Drug Administration (SDFA) and the Shanghai Public Security Bureau investigating a Beijing pharmaceutical plant for allegedly producing a counterfeit version of the drug Avastin.

The fake Avastin caused eye infections in 61 patients at the Shanghai No. 1 People's Hospital last month according to officials from the Shanghai Health Bureau.

Shanghai No. 1 People’s Hospital illegally treated patients with Avastin on people with eye complaints, though its key component is believed to have a positive effect on some eye conditions, it is only officially approved for treatment of certain cancer conditions.

Roche, Avastin's producer, said the drug is only approved for colorectal cancer treatment in China. It is used in the treatment of five types of cancer in the United States, but is not permitted for use on eyes.

Avastin was not officially approved for use for colorectal cancer until October 22nd nearly a month after the incident at the hospital.

According to the Shanghai Daily story:

• Local police will also investigate the Avastin case.

• The Shanghai Ruijin-AmMed Cancer Center is under suspicion as it allegedly purchased the bogus Avastin and sold it on to hospitals.

• Several employees at the cancer center, along with some pharmaceutical dealers, have been detained. The relevant head of Shanghai No.1 People's Hospital will be charged with poor management and negligence, said health bureau officials.

• Only three patients from the case remain in the hospital. Many of those discharged have received compensation.

This incident features many culprits and plenty of criminal activity. The production of dangerous fake medications, dealing in counterfeit drugs and unofficial medical treatment to name just a few.

In this incident, each member of the supply chain perpetrated some level of criminal, fraudulent and unethical behavior with the consumers suffering serious injury.

It is critical for all members of the global pharmaceutical supply chain to protect their inventories by deploying best practices, solutions and technologies to authenticate and verify the efficacy of the products that flow through their operations.

To read the entire Shanghai Daily article, visit:
To learn more about pharmaceutical anti-counterfeiting technologies, visit:

Sunday, October 24, 2010

Securing Pharma: Cambodian Study Finds Only 3% of Medicines are Counterfeit

Low figure compares to historical estimates of 4% to 90% in studies reported since 2000, according to the researchers.

Phil Taylor in an October 22nd post in Securing Pharma writes a blog about a recent study by Japanese researchers that shows a low percentage of counterfeits as it relates to past studies.

This research is significant because at face value the study paints a very different, more positive picture of the Cambodian pharmaceutical supply chain from previous studies which may lead to a false sense of the totality of the problem.

Highlights from the Securing Pharma post include:

• The results of a medicine sampling study in Cambodia reveals that just 3% of products were counterfeit, although between 5 and 9 % failed HPLC or dissolution-based quality testing.

That relatively low figure compares to historical estimates of 4% to 90% in studies reported since 2000, according to the researchers, who were from Kanazawa and Nagasaki Universities in Japan and Cambodia's National Health Product Quality Control Center.

• A total of 710 samples of a wide range of commonly-used medicines were collected by the researchers in three tranches (in 2006, 2007 and 2008) at pharmacies and other forms of retail outlet in both rural and urban areas.

A little over half (55%) of the samples collected had their packaging intact, but in 45% of cases it was open. Counterfeits were 20 times more likely to be encountered among open containers than closed one, were more likely to fail quality testing and were encountered more often in rural outlets, according to the researchers.

Four of the counterfeits were labeled as originating from China, six were from India, two were from Malaysia and there was one each from Hong Kong, Cambodia and the UK.

Clearly the outcome of this research needs to be followed up given the apparent disparity between the results of this testing and what has been found in the past.

After one looks at the data however it would appear that although 3% were found to be specifically counterfeit there was a significant amount of issues with up to 9% of the sampling as to leave doubts to its efficacy. Simply put Cambodia has a huge health care issue as it relates to the safety of its pharmaceutical supply chain.

Adulterated, sub-standard, fraudulent and counterfeit drugs impact the health and safety of entire populations in developed and underdeveloped nations by poisoning the consumer, not properly treating diseases, creating drug resistant disease or at best scamming the patient out of his or her intended treatment.

Secure Pharma Chain encourages all within the pharmaceutical supply chain (regulatory agencies, manufacturers, distributors and dispensers) to use best procurement practices when purchasing their raw materials and inventories and to deploy technologies and solutions that will interdict these potentially lethal fakes from reaching the consumer.

To view Phil Taylor’s Securing Pharma article, visit:

To view the research published in Pharmaceutical Research, visit:

To learn more about pharmaceutical anti-counterfeiting technologies, visit:

Friday, October 22, 2010

Eastern Europe Confronts Fake Medicines

“Fighting back counterfeiters can't be done by one country or by one organization, it calls for a synergy of efforts."

Eastern Europe is a key route in a multi-billion-dollar trade in often-dangerous counterfeit medicines that has grown exponentially on the Internet. Agence France-Presse reports on a meeting of more than 120 anti-counterfeit specialists from six Eastern European countries in Romania held recently. The meeting was an effort to bring experts together and collaborate in combating this deadly crime which impacts the health of entire populations.

Highlights from the Agence France-Presse story include:

"There is an important Balkan route for fake medicines, which is the same as for heroin and other narcotics," Hungarian customs officer Karolyi Szep told AFP at the meeting called by the world's leading pharmaceutical company Pfizer.

• Such drugs can contain no active ingredients at all or 8,000 times the required amount, or heavy metals such as arsenic, lead-based paint, brick dust or floor wax -- content that poses major health risks and can lead to death.

Today most of the sales are done via the Internet, which has multiplied the trade -- and the risks -- exponentially.

According to the World Health Organization, one in two medicines sold online are fake.

• "People who buy medicines on the Internet are playing Russian roulette with their own lives," Steve Allen, senior director of Pfizer Global Security, told AFP.

• Allen said 63 million fake Pfizer tablets, vials and capsules as well as enough active ingredient to manufacture an additional 64 million have been seized worldwide since 2004. "But this is just the tip of the iceberg," he warned.

“Fighting back counterfeiters can't be done by one country or by one organization, it calls for a synergy of efforts," he said. "We are dealing with organized crime gangs, there is no doubt about it."

Considered a low-risk and high-reward business, counterfeit medicines have become increasingly alluring to narcotics smugglers.

"Supply techniques are identical, but the punishment is not," Allen said, stressing that in certain countries manufacturing or selling fake medicines is not considered a crime.

• In one case of narcotics and fake medicines going hand in hand, Turkish police seized 6,000 counterfeit Viagra pills smuggled with 378,000 ecstasy tablets and enough ingredients to manufacture 51 kilogrammes (110 pounds) of heroin.

• The former Soviet bloc has made important progress in recent years in fighting counterfeit medicines, said Gabriel Turcu, a senior partner in leading European anti-counterfeiting network REACT.

• Most countries in the region have toughened legislation and some are even setting an example for their Western neighbors. In Romania, fake drugs smugglers have for the first time been sentenced to prison this year.

"Years ago, judges would deem counterfeiting T-shirts or medicines was the same. Now their perception has changed," Turcu said.

Calling for increased public awareness, experts and law enforcement authorities stressed that deaths caused by fake medicines are often attributed to natural causes.

Secure Pharma Chain encourages collaborations as an important step forward in fighting this deadly criminal act.

Working partnerships between regulatory agencies and industry along with public awareness and the deployment of technologies are the vital components to the “synergy of efforts” in ending the threat of counterfeit medications to consumers around the globe.

To read the entire Agence France-Presse story, visit:

To learn more about pharmaceutical anti-counterfeiting solutions, visit:

Thursday, October 21, 2010

Pharmaceutical Delivery Driver Kidnapped, Drugs Stolen

Delivery truck high-jacked and driver kidnapped by gunmen posing as police for its cargo of prescription drugs.

In an incident that occurred early this month, according to Los Angeles Police, two robbers dressed as police officers held up a pharmaceutical delivery truck and kidnapped the driver before stealing its entire cargo of drugs.

According to the Associated Press:

• The truck was making an early-morning delivery to a Rite Aid in the San Fernando Valley when two men brandishing semiautomatic handguns approached the driver, Los Angeles police Sgt. Mitzi Grasso said. They were wearing dark clothing with "Police" emblazoned across the back.

• "They must have planned it," Grasso said. "They obviously knew the delivery schedule because they were waiting."

• One of the men got into the truck with the driver, and they drove to a spot about two miles away, where the driver was ordered out. He was unharmed.

• Grasso said the truck was making its first delivery of the day and was filled with a range of drugs, including narcotics such as Vicodin and OxyContin. The robbers made off with everything.

• "It was completely cleaned out," Grasso said. "They must have had people standing by."

This incident illustrates the value that criminals are placing on prescription drugs both for its use and value. Specifically these crimes are taking place routinely, not just for narcotics but because of the high cost of prescription drugs and their value on the black market.

All members of the pharmaceutical supply chain should protect their inventories, not only from theft and stolen goods but from the introduction of adulterated, sub-standard, fraudulent and counterfeit drugs.

To read the story on-line via Associated Press, visit:

To learn more about pharmaceutical security solutions, visit:

Wednesday, October 20, 2010

Freightwatch International: September 2010 Cargo Theft Report

FreightWatch International, an industry leader in providing cargo theft intelligence through data collection, analysis, and customized reporting, released their monthly report on cargo theft for September 2010.

recorded 42 cargo theft incidents in September; a substantial decrease in the average number of thefts per month this year. The states with the highest number of thefts were California and Florida followed by New Jersey and Texas.

This month, Clothing/shoes, Electronics and Building/Industrial were the most targeted commodities. By Location, 50% of the incidents occurred at truck stops and secure DC/Terminal lots.

Finally, an average of $322,657 resulted from the 15 incidents showing loss value amounts.

By commodity, pharmaceuticals had three reported incidents in September which matches the previous month:

• September 10th in Daytona, Florida a last mile delivery of pharmaceuticals was taken of an unreported value.

• September 14th in Chicago, Illinois there was a theft of a trailer with a pharmaceutical cargo of an unreported value.

• September 24th in Dandridge, Tennessee there was a theft of a trailer with a pharmaceutical load valued at $160, 848.

As a commodity, pharmaceuticals from October 2009 to September 2010 represent 5% of actual incidents of cargo theft.

The issue of pharmaceutical cargo theft energizes the need for material screening of products within the supply chain, from manufacturer to dispenser, to properly protect consumers everywhere.

As the value and prevalence increases, so too does the potential risk to consumers.

To read the entire report from Freightwatch International, visit:

To learn more about pharmaceutical material screening technologies, visit:

Tuesday, October 19, 2010

Pill Mix Leads to Cancer Drug Recall

Cross contamination has led to the recall of a cancer drug shipped to the U.S.

According to a report written by George Miller in FiercePharma, the recalled drug is Fresenius Kabi's anastrozole, and it was made by the German company's subsidiary in India, Fresenius Kabi Oncology.

The voluntary recall involves two batches of the tablets, which are used to treat breast cancer. They were made available in the U.S. by APP Pharmaceuticals, Kabi's U.S. unit based in Schaumburg, Illinois.

The drug was made at the Indian unit's plant in Baddi. Operators found drugs other than anastrozole in some of the 1-mg anastrozole bottles, according to the Economic Times. The recall comprises 7,192 bottles, each containing 30 tablets.

The specifics of the FDA recall are:

Anastrozole tablets, 1 mg, 30 Tablets per HDPE Bottle, Rx only; NDC #63323-129-30; Product Code: 129030. Recall # D-906-2010

Lot numbers 870AF0010, Exp. date: 05/2012; Lot number: 870AF00201; Exp. date: 05/2012

Recalling Firm: APP Pharmaceuticals LLC, Schaumburg, IL, by letters dated September 1, 2010. Manufacturer: Fresensius Kabi Oncology Limited (Baddi), Baddi, India. Firm initiated recall is ongoing.

Cross Contamination w/Other Products: A potential for some foreign tablets to be in bottles of anastrozole tablets 1 mg.

7,192 bottles


As more and more pharmaceutical products are outsourced from underdeveloped countries and nation's with a checkered history of regulatory control, it is important that all members of the pharmaceutical supply chain, especially the contracting entity, utilize authentication technologies to make certain of the quality of the products that make up their brand.

To read the FiercePharma post, visit:

To learn more about pharmaceutical authentication technologies, visit:

Monday, October 18, 2010

U.S. Embassy in Sri Lanka Funding Campaign to Combat Counterfeit Drugs

U.S. to host series of seminars to help various groups work together to protect Sri Lankan consumers from the dangers of counterfeit drugs.

According to the October 15th posting of The ColomboPage, Sri Lanka’s leading Internet newspaper, the United States Embassy in Colombo, Sri Lanka together with the Sri Lanka Chamber of Pharmaceutical Industry (SLCPI), the National Intellectual Property Office and the American Chamber of Commerce, will be hosting a series of seminars across the country to show how pharmacists, doctors, and government officials how they can work together to protect Sri Lankan families against the dangers of counterfeit drugs.

The announcement was made from a press release from the U.S. Embassy. According to the press release:

• The first of the seminar series will be held on October 17 in Colombo with the participation of Sri Lanka's Minister of Health Maithripala Sirisena and U.S. Ambassador Patricia A. Butenis.

• Approximately 200 pharmacists, pharmacy owners, students, police, customs, and government health officials are expected to participate in the inaugural training, the Embassy said.

• Three more workshops are planned in Galle, Kandy, and Jaffna during the coming months.

• The program includes four workshops under the theme "Protecting Sri Lankan Families from Counterfeit Drugs." Each workshop will include a discussion of ways to safeguard intellectual property rights by registering and controlling genuine pharmaceuticals and medicines and enforcing the procedures established to do so.

• The U.S. Department of State is the principal sponsor of the campaign. The U.S. Embassy in Colombo and the SLCPI are also providing funds for this important program.

• The U.S. Embassy, the Pharmaceutical Chamber, AmCham and the NIPO have jointly developed the series of workshops to examine the problem of counterfeit drugs which can irreparably harm patients and even cause death.

Clearly this is a significant first step in the United States working with countries pharmaceutical supply chain stakeholders in combating this deadly disease. Counterfeit drugs that are made in underdeveloped countries often end up imported into developed countries like the United States.

Recently it has been evident that the United States government is beginning a broad international campaign to work with countries against counterfeit goods and Intellectual Property crimes.

Secure Pharma Chain endorses these efforts but also encourages members of the pharmaceutical supply chain to deploy technologies and solutions to protect their inventories and their end user consumers from this deadly criminal act.

To read the entire article, visit:

To learn more about anti-counterfeiting technologies, visit:

Sunday, October 17, 2010

Interpol: Chad's Story - Don't Let this Happen to YOU

Interpol in an effort to educate consumers regarding the dangers of purchasing on-line pharmaceuticals created a marketing campaign directly to the consumer.

This Interpol video tells the story of Chad and his purchase of blood pressure medicine over the internet. His story, initial rationale and end result to the purchase hopefully will drive home the dangers to consumers-at-large regarding the dangerous consequences of buying prescription drugs over the internet.

Secure Pharma Chain endorses agencies and the pharmaceutical industry in general, creating more consumer campaigns that warn and educate about the dangers of adulterated, fraudulent, substandard and counterfeit medications.

To learn more about pharmaceutical anti-counterfeiting solutions, visit:

Friday, October 15, 2010

Yahoo Finance: Top 5 Counterfeits that Endanger Consumers

Yahoo Finance airs a video on the top five most dangerous counterfeits and explains the ever growing global counterfeiting industry which now is valued at over $600 Billion annually.

Counterfeit Prescription Drugs were listed as number one on the list of the top five counterfeits that are of most risk to consumers.

US Customs and Border Patrol reports that seizure of counterfeit pharmaceuticals totaled $11 Million in 2009. The 2010 number is anticipated to easily exceed that value.

Secure Pharma Chain believes that it is important that consumers understand the danger that counterfeit drugs pose to their health. Fraudulent, adulterated, substandard and counterfeit medications are one of the most significant and dangerous health care issues of the 21st century. This video is a great way to share that message.

To learn more about pharmaceutical anti-counterfeiting technologies and solutions, visit:

Thursday, October 14, 2010

Global Pharmaceutical Sales Expected to Rise to $880bn in 2011

IMS Health predicts that global drug sales will increase 5 to 7 per cent next year, driven by development of innovative pharmaceuticals and growth of emerging markets. Secure Pharma Chain sees this as a major driver to continued proliferation of counterfeit medications.

In-PharmaTechnologist published a story yesterday on the IMS report regarding the rise in global drug sales for 2011.

The report shows that although there will “constraints” to the traditional developed markets because of the loss of major drugs to patent protections, significant growth in emerging markets globally will still mean continued growth.

Secure Pharma Chain anticipates that based on the information in this report, the growth in the emerging markets in China will result in still higher growth in substandard, fraudulent, adulterated and counterfeit medications in 2011.

This estimation is driven by industry experts like Terry Hisey from Deloitte and the World Health Organization, significantly raising their estimates in 2010 as to the annual global value of counterfeit medications to a range from $75b to $200b with a annual growth rate of 12to 15 per cent.

These factors and the state of the global economy in general mean that the global pharmaceutical market place will face many challenges going forward.

Secure Pharma Chain encourages all members of the pharmaceutical supply chain to protect their inventories from this growing threat by deploying technologies and solutions designed to authenticate and validate products within the supply channel.

Included in the In-PharmaTechnologist article:

• China is expected to enter 2011 as the third largest pharmaceutical market after the US and Japan, overtaking Germany with a predicted 25 per cent growth and $50bn in sales.

• By 2015, annual spending on prescription drugs in another 16 emerging markets is expected to increase by at least $1bn, which for the lowest spender in the group, Vietnam, will mark a doubling of this year’s expenditure.

• Innovative products in areas of stroke prevention, melanoma, multiple sclerosis, breast cancer and hepatitis C are expected to enter the market next year, representing 30-35 new chemical and biological entities with five predicted to reach blockbuster status.

• While 2011 is expected to bring global drugs sales of $880-890bn, “the underlying constraints to growth in developed markets are stronger than ever”, according to Murray Aitken, Senior Vice President at IMS, with “major drugs losing patent protection and facing generic competition for the first time”. The new potential blockbuster drugs are not expected to provide market growth “beyond what we’ve seen in the past 3 years which is at historically low levels”.

To read the entire In-PharmaTechnologist article, visit:

To learn more about pharmaceutical anti-counterfeiting solutions, visit:

Wednesday, October 13, 2010

Partnership for Safe Medicines Interchange Conference Quote

By all accounts, the First Annual Interchange Partnership for Safe Medicines Interchange Conference was a huge success and a great step forward to coordinating a domestic agenda with all of the supply chain stakeholders in the fight against counterfeit drugs.

The following quote was by FDA Commissioner Dr. Margaret A. Hamburg during her keynote address at the conference:

“It is sad to realize that we live in a world in which some criminals are willing to maximize profits by placing poisons in products like infant formula, toothpaste and medically necessary drugs. But it is a reality we must face. And, more importantly, it is a reality that we must become more proactive in dealing with. “

Secure Pharma Chain is excited about the success of the conference and encourages all members of the pharmaceutical supply chain to protect their inventories and the consumer by deploying a variety of solutions and technologies.

Commissioner Hamburg’s admonition to become more proactive in the fight against this deadly crime of fraudulent, adulterated and counterfeit drugs is especially relevant with the emergence of a global pharmaceutical supply chain.

To read about the Safe Medicines Conference, visit:

To learn more about anti-counterfeiting technologies, visit:

Tuesday, October 12, 2010

Thai Government Promises to Crack Down on Counterfeit Drugs

Thailand has decided to crack down seriously on counterfeit medicine, and nine concerned government agencies have inked a memorandum of understanding to join forces.

According to a September 29th issue of The Nation, nine Thai government agencies are signing a Memo of Understanding linking their efforts to fight counterfeit drugs in part due to the United States putting Thailand on a Priority Watch List as it relates to Intellectual Property Rights and Trade.

The nine Thai agencies are the Customs Department, Food and Drug Administration, Department of Special Investigation, Pharmaceutical Research and Manufacturers Association, Royal Thai Police, Information and Communications Technology Ministry, Central Institute of Forensic Science, Office of the Attorney-General for Intellectual Property and International Trade, and the Commerce Ministry's Intellectual Property Department.

According to The Nation:

• Deputy Commerce Minister Alongkorn Ponlaboot said yesterday that these agencies would suppress not just the distribution of counterfeit medicines, but also trademark violators. The sale of fake medication not only costs the country thousands of billions of baht a year but also adversely affects consumers' health, he warned.

• The government is promising to crack down on violators of intellectual-property rights so Washington can review Thailand's status in relation to trade.

"These fake products have caused more damage than we can estimate because the agencies working on this do not share information enough," Alongkorn said.

Last year, the government seized 145,000 tablets of counterfeit medicine worth Bt58 million. This does not include the many illegal products that have been smuggled across the border.

• Under the MoU, the agencies will join forces not just to suppress fake products but to demolish processing plants, Alongkorn said.

• The plan is also to inform the public about the adverse effects of purchasing counterfeit goods.

• "The US will review its trading partners' status under Article 301 of the Trade Law next month. Our plan is to persuade Washington to remove Thailand from its Priority Watch List," he said.

Secure Pharma Chain is encouraged by the actions of the Thai government and by the United States in pressuring their trading partners to be more active in their enforcement.

To read the entire The Nation article, visit:

To learn more about pharmaceutical anti-counterfeiting technology, visit:

Monday, October 11, 2010

Interpol Starting Operation Against Counterfeit Drugs in Russia

First large scale initiative by Interpol in Russia against bogus medications.

ITAR-Tass reported on September 27th that Interpol Russia is initiating a large-scale operation against fake medicines.

Police Major General Timur Lakhonin, who heads Russia’s Interpol Bureau, is quoted in an interview with the Rossiyskaya Gazeta :

• “At present, a special raid was launched to detect the channel of counterfeit medicines. This is a new direction in our work. We found 1,200 websites in the Internet that sell fake medicines. These medicines are now being seized. The operation is underway in 25 countries and now it begins in Russia,” he said.

• “The most dangerous segment of the black market is counterfeiting of different antibiotics, contraceptives, steroids and weight loss medicines,” Lakhonin said.

This is a significant step forward for enforcing a critical health care problem and major criminal activity in Russia a country who is considered to have a relatively high percentage of its pharmaceutical supply chain impacted by fake drugs.

Secure Pharma Chain endorses more aggressive law enforcement against this criminal act but also encourages pharmaceutical supply chain members to proactively deploy technologies and best practice solutions to protect their inventories and consumers from these potentially lethal fakes.

To read the ITAR-TASS article, visit:

To learn more about anti-counterfeiting technologies, visit:

Saturday, October 9, 2010

FDA Commissioner Margaret Hamburg Joins with Public and Private Sector Leaders in Call to Address Global Counterfeit Drug Crisis

"It is clear that FDA needs new regulatory tools that provide the authority we need to meet the challenges we face in today's increasing globalized marketplace, “ stated Dr. Margaret Hamburg, Commissioner of the FDA.

Dr. Hamburg made this statement at the inaugural Counterfeit Drug Interchange Conference hosted by the Partnership for Safe Medicines (PSM).

This conference brought together more than a hundred cross-industry stakeholders to discuss ways to stem the rising tide of counterfeit and unsafe medicines.

Highlights from the press release by PSM included:

• "The FDA is firmly committed to doing all that we can to further strengthen our nation's drug supply and ensure the quality and safety of all drugs and medical products on the U.S. market," said Hamburg. "It is clear that FDA needs new regulatory tools that provide the authority we need to meet the challenges we face in today's increasing globalized marketplace. And we look forward to working with Congress on legislation that will give FDA the ability to protect Americans from harmful drugs and medical products-and fulfill our fundamental public health mission."

• Today's forum underscores the severity of the problem and the interest among all segments of the pharmaceutical sector - law enforcement, patient groups, government regulators, academics and manufacturers - to come together to discuss practical solutions.

• "The U.S. has the safest drug system in the world, but that does not mean American consumers are immune. The instances of counterfeit drugs are increasing and the counterfeiters are becoming more sophisticated, which means that our drug safety is at risk," said Scott LaGanga, executive director of PSM. "PSM's goal with the Interchange is to raise awareness of the scope of this epidemic, as well as the need for global collaboration, information sharing and tools and resources that will help protect consumers across the globe."

• In addition to Dr. Hamburg, speakers included an American victim of counterfeit drugs, representatives from the Drug Enforcement Agency and the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, law enforcement officers, and patient advocacy groups.

• At the event, PSM also announced that the Generic Pharmaceuticals Association (GPhA) has joined the organization, adding their expertise and network to PSM's efforts to keep all medicines - generic and branded - safe for consumers.

• "Given the role that generic drugs play in the global marketplace, PSM today is even more positioned to continue its battle to keep prescription medicines safe for consumers," said LaGanga. "We welcome GPhA to our membership and look forward to working together on this critical health issue."

Secure Pharma Chain endorses the need form more FDA regulatory authority especially as it pertains to dealing with adulterated, fraudulent and counterfeit medications and raw materials in the proliferating global pharmaceutical supply chain.

Secure Pharma Chain also believes that it is incumbent on all members of the pharmaceutical supply chain to proactively protect their industry, inventories and most importantly the consumer by deploying best practices, solutions and technologies to combat this deadly criminal act.

To view the entire PSM press release, visit:

To learn more about anti-counterfeiting technologies for pharmaceuticals, visit:

Friday, October 8, 2010

Customs Agents Seize $21M in Counterfeit Items at Cincinnati Airport

Operation Safe Summer with agents from Customs and Border Protection, Immigration and Customs Enforcement and Homeland Security Investigations discovered a variety of counterfeit items including counterfeit drugs.

As reported by Dan Horn and posted on-line at on September 28th, the seizures are part of a nationwide campaign by U.S. Customs and Border Protection to crack down on imports of knock-off products, which cost American companies and consumers hundreds of millions of dollars a year:

• Most of the counterfeit items came from China and all were seized between Sept. 7 and Sept. 17 as they passed through DHL's hub at the airport.

• "Pretty much anything that can be counterfeited, we came across," said Brian Bell, spokesman for Customs and Border Protection. "They were very good. The Chinese have perfected the art of duplicating our products."

• U.S. officials have said for years that the theft of intellectual property through counterfeit goods poses a major threat to the U.S. economy and to consumers, who could spend thousands of dollars for lower quality products or suffer injury because of defective parts or dangerous medicine.

• Federal agents seized almost 15,000 counterfeit shipments valued at more than $260 million nationwide last year, with China accounting for 79 percent of the illegal imports.

• The value of seizures dropped for the first time in 2009 - down from $272 million in 2008 - but federal officials say that may be because the global economic downturn reduced all imports by 25 percent. Until last year, intellectual property seizures increased steadily from about $93 million in 2005.

• He said counterfeiters are savvy, fast and getting better at mastering the technology needed to produce believable fakes. When the iPad came out earlier this year, Bell said, border protection officers began seizing knock-off versions within weeks. "The importation of counterfeit merchandise really damages the U.S. economy," he said.

• He said the DHL hub at the airport was targeted because so many goods pass through each day, not because the problem is worse here. He said DHL cooperated with federal officials and, as the shipping company, was not responsible for verifying the authenticity of the products it was paid to fly overseas.

• Criminal charges against the manufacturers of the counterfeit goods are unlikely because they are based overseas.

The fact that counterfeit products and dangerous fake drugs are becoming a semi-mainstream global export from emerging economies is very troubling and a significant threat.

This type of law enforcement confiscation, which will not likely lead to many if any criminal charges is becoming all too much the norm and represents a small fraction of the amount that comes into this country on a daily basis.

Industry leaders and consumers around the globe need to insist on regulatory/enforcement measures and need to take proactive steps to protect themselves from harmful goods that threaten populations.

To read the Mr. Horn’s article, visit:

To learn more about pharmaceutical anti-counterfeiting technologies, visit:

Wednesday, October 6, 2010

Counterfeit Drugs Causing Drug Resistant Strains of TB

The proliferation of counterfeit drugs used for the treatment of tuberculosis in Africa is causing the rise of extremely resistant strains of TB.

Jeff Otieno reports in the Daily Nation on September 27th about an already serious health care problem becoming much more serious due to substandard, adulterated, fraudulent and counterfeit medications.

The major concern is that while easily and inexpensively treated TB can grow into an un-manageable disease when the drugs used to counter it are counterfeit.

As reported in the Daily Nation:

• Treatment drugs are becoming weaker by the day. Such is the case with two types of tuberculosis, multi-drug resistant TB and extremely resistant TB, which are on the rise not only in the East Africa, but also globally.

• “Drug resistant tuberculosis cases are spreading. We have already seen a rise in Kenya and we believe the case is the same in other parts of East Africa,” says Dr Joseph Sitienei, the head of the National Leprosy and Tuberculosis Control Programme.

• Extremely resistant TB is caused by poor treatment, mis-diagnosis and the unwitting use of counterfeit drugs. It is a case where a normal TB disease transforms itself becoming resistant.

Populations around the globe should be concerned because drug resistant strains of diseases transcend borders and quickly spread beyond underdeveloped nations.

Counterfeit medications are increasingly becoming one of the most dangerous health care issues of the 21st century.

To read the entire Daily Nation article, visit:

To learn more about pharmaceutical anti-counterfeiting solutions, visit:

Tuesday, October 5, 2010

Havocscope: Counterfeit Pharmaceutical Drugs Is The Top Black Market Activity Eclipsing Prostitution

Counterfeit Pharmaceutical Drugs are estimated to be valued at $200B per year, significantly eclipsing previous estimates and valued at over $12B more than the second most prevelant black market activity, prostitution.

Havocscope is an independent data and information provider of black market activities around the world.
The rankings by Havocscope are based on monitoring information from public sources including newspaper articles, academic journals, governmental data, non-governmental reports and press releases from relevant institutions.

Havocscope is the global leader in providing information on illicit activities worldwide and has been published and cited in a variety of well known mainstream publications globally.

The $200B annual black market value notably outpaces the previously accepted World Health Organizations 2010 estimate value of counterfeit drugs at $75B and easily outpaces by any single illicit drug black market activity like marijuana, cocaine or heroin.

Hopefully government officials, law enforcement, industry experts, health care professionals and most importantly consumers take note of this suprising statistic and activity.

The deadly crime of pharmaceutical fraud, adulteration and counterfeiting should be taken seriously by populations everywhere because the victims of this black market activity are unaware of the criminal act.

Certainly this data reflects a radical difference in public perceptions regarding counterfeiting and black market activity in general.

Havoscope ranks the United States as the number one market in the world for counterfeit good sales, followed by China, Spain, Mexico, Italy, Japan, Canada, United Kingdom, Russia and Germany.

The following is Havocscope’s Top 54 Black Market Activities and their annual value:

1. Counterfeit Pharmaceutical Drugs $200 Billion
2. Prostitution $187.67 Billion
3. Marijuana $141.80 Billion
4. Counterfeit Electronics $100 Billion
5. Cocaine $88 Billion
6. Opium and Heroin $65 Billion
7. Prescription Drugs $64.82 Billion
8. Web Video Piracy $60 Billion
9. Software Piracy $51.4 Billion
10. Cigarette Smuggling $50 Billion
11. Human Trafficking $32 Billion
12. Amphetamines $28.25 Billion
13. Illegal Fishing $23 Billion
14. Human Smuggling $20 Billion
15. Wildlife and Animal Smuggling $20 Billion
16. Movie Piracy $20 Billion
17. Ecstasy $16.07 Billion
18. Counterfeit Auto Parts $16 Billion
19. Illegal Logging $15 Billion
20. Gas and Oil Smuggling $12.75 Billion
21. Music Piracy $12.5 Billion
22. Counterfeit Clothing $12 Billion
23. Counterfeit Shoes $12 Billion
24. Trash Smuggling $11 Billion
25. Art and Antique Smuggling $10 Billion
26. Cable Piracy $8.5 Billion
27. Counterfeit Medical Devices $7 Billion
28. Counterfeit Sports Goods and Memorabilia $6.5 Billion
29. Counterfeit Cigarettes $4 Billion
30. Video Game Piracy $3.5 Billion
31. Mobile Entertainment Piracy $3.4 Billion
32. Alcohol Smuggling $3.2 Billion
33. Counterfeit Cosmetics 3.0 Billion
34. Counterfeit Money Orders and Checks $2.5 Billion
35. Counterfeit Toys $2.23 Billion
36. Counterfeit Airline Parts $2 Billion
37. Counterfeit Small Arms $1.8 Billion
38. International Adoptions $1.3 Billion
39. Counterfeit Alcohol $1 Billion
40. Counterfeit Watches $1 Billion
41. Counterfeit Credit and Debit Cards $0.82 Billion ($825.05 Million)
42. Counterfeit Pesticides $0.735 Billion ($735 Million)
43. Book Piracy $0.6 Billion ($600 Million)
44. Kidnap and Ransom $0.5 Billion ($500 Million)
45. Diamond Smuggling $0.28 Billion ($280 Million)
46. Arms Trafficking $0.245 Billion ($245 Million)
47. Counterfeit Currency $0.182 Billion ($182 Million)
48. Nuclear Smuggling $0.1 Billion ($100 Million)
49. Counterfeit Cuban Cigars $0.1 Billion ($100 Million)
50. Organ Trafficking $0.075 Billion ($75 Million)
51. Counterfeit Purses $0.07 Billion ($70 Million)
52. Counterfeit Lighters $0.042 Billion ($42 Million)
53. Counterfeit Batteries$ 0.023 Billion ($23 Million)
54. Body Parts and Human Tissue $0.006 Billion ($6 Million)

To read the Havocscope online post, visit:

To learn more about pharmaceutical anti-counterfeiting technologies:

Monday, October 4, 2010

American Enterprise Institute: How Safe Are Your Medicines?

A counterfeit drug has been described as the perfect murder weapon as it is very difficult to detect.

Roger Bate, the Legatum Fellow in Global Prosperity at the American Enterprise Institute and leading expert on the counterfeit drugs writes another outstanding piece on bogus medications and the deadly global problem it has become.

How Safe Are Your Medicines?, is jammed with relevant global information and statistics and is a necessary read for anyone who is part of the pharmaceutical supply chain.

Mr. Bate is a particular favorite of Secure Pharma Chain in that he clearly articulates and connects all of the many facets of this insidious criminal act and its consequences.

Here are but a few of the highlights of this first rate article published by the American Interprise Institute:

A recent Pew poll shows that 54 percent of Americans distrust drugs made in India and 70 percent distrust drugs from China. With more and more medicines or their ingredients sourced from countries with inconsistent regulatory environments and significant levels of corruption, better-informed patients around the world are asking themselves how much they trust foreign drugs. This should be of concern to any exporting drug producer.

A counterfeit drug has been described as the perfect murder weapon as it is very difficult to detect. Essentially a fake is a product pretending to be something it isn’t—a labeling fraud. By some estimates, perhaps hundreds of thousands of people are killed a year from fake drugs, especially in the poorest parts of Asia and much of Africa.

Most pills do not kill as poisons, they simply do not treat the conditions and diseases they were taken to control or cure. Entities from Interpol to the World Health Organization to large pharmaceutical companies are fighting this menace. Inadequate criminal legislation means that intellectual property law sometimes offers the only remedy to such potentially lethal activities.

A less well-known but perhaps more pernicious problem exists with substandard medicines, which are legal, often made by politically connected local companies, but do not work properly. A patient who falls victim (or his survivors, if he succumbs) may be offered no recourse, even if someone suspects something. Finding somebody to blame is notoriously difficult.

• Political ramifications are rife—a few examples from Latin America will suffice. Take the case of the Cuban doctors servicing President Hugo Chavez’s health system in Venezuela. They are bringing drugs with them from Cuba, which are suspected to be of uncertain efficacy. Stories have leaked out of patients not responding to treatments, but no one knows for sure whether medical personnel have made mistakes, or—as seems more likely—drug quality is the cause. Patient have little recourse, especially since even an investigation would imply that a key ally of President Chavez might be at fault.

• In 2003, Brazil's drug regulatory authority, ANVISA, decided to phase out the very lightly regulated class of medicines known as “similars.” These products are made by legitimate manufacturers, but they only have to show basic chemical stability. They do not have to show that they are bioavailable (they work the same way in the body) as generic drugs. Brazil’s move began when a survey found that most substandard medicines on the market were from this class. However, similars are wildly popular with the general public, which believes these are nearly as good as branded versions, just cheaper because they don't have fancy packaging. So the Brazilian government revised its plan and allowed producers a grace period—until 2014—before they would have to conform to safety standards. Argentina allows similars and has no plans to phase them out. My ongoing analysis of these medicines leads me to believe that similars have far greater variability than proven generics. In other words it is not that the manufacturers cannot make good quality products, it is just that they do not do so consistently.

• A tragic case under investigation in Peru demonstrates some of the pitfalls. Dr. Raul Cordero of the national cancer institute administered a drug to five children suffering from lymphatic leukemia, which caused an adverse effect to the central nervous system and induced coma. Four of the children died.

• Not only are these drugs a danger for the patient, they contribute to an increasing distrust of the entire healthcare system. Patients not being treated effectively may look to bogus remedies or seek “better” treatment overseas, something only the rich can afford to do.

Competition in the drug market, as in any market, is generally a good thing. It lowers prices and enables more patients to be treated. But this is only the case where the competitors trade in products of equal efficacy and safety, and unfortunately that is increasingly not the case in many parts of the world.

As this issue continues to grow and proliferate around the globe, it is vital that all members of the pharmaceutical supply chain take measures to protect their commercial brand, inventories and most importantly the health care consumer.

The issue of substandard, adulterated, fraudulent and counterfeit medications is a problem that will only grow and will only subside until the global supply chain utilizes technology and supply chain solutions to eradicate it.

To read all of Roger Bate’s American Enterprise Institute article, visit:

To learn more about technologies for the detection of counterfeit medications, visit:

Saturday, October 2, 2010

Chinese Hospital Pays Patients Hurt By Fake Eye Drug

The Shanghai No. 1 People's Hospital, where a fake drug caused eye infections in 61 out of 116 patients, has paid compensation to recently discharged patients.

As reported in the September 15th issue of the Shanghai Daily, a payout was made by the hospital to patients that were treated with a counterfeit of Roche's drug Avastin that developed complications due to the medication.

Tests by Shanghai officials and Roche confirmed the drug was fake.

According to the Shanghai Daily:

• The minimum paid was 2,000 yuan (US$299), although some patients discharged early this month were not compensated.

• The 61 patients were among 116 people who received the medicine at Shanghai No. 1 People's Hospital on September 6 and 8.

• After the injections, the patients reported eye inflammations and poor vision and were quickly hospitalized. Seventeen patients with severe reactions underwent surgery. The rest received injections to treat the infections.

The issue of fraudulent, adulterated, substandard and counterfeit medications continues to grow and impact the legitimate supply chains and professionally provided health care.

When health care consumers cannot reliably depend upon medication treatment made by health care professionals to be safe and efficacious the entire population suffers.

All members of the global pharmaceutical supply chain need to deploy solutions and technologies to protect their inventories and health care consumers.

To read the article, visit:

To learn more about pharmaceutical anti-counterfeiting technologies, visit:

Friday, October 1, 2010

Wisconsin State Journal: Man Charged With Importing Fake Drugs Given Medical Release for Heart Surgery

Man charged with importing fake drugs given medical release for heart surgery.

According to a story in the Wisconsin State Journal:

A Middleton man charged in federal court with taking part in an alleged large-scale scheme to import and peddle fake or ineffective pills was released from custody Monday for heart surgery on severely blocked vessels.

Balbir Bhogal, 63, who was charged in U.S. District Court in Brooklyn last month along with renowned Madison pharmacist Marla Ahlgrimm, has three vessels in his heart that are 95, 97 and 100 percent blocked, associate federal defender Erika Bierma wrote to U.S. Magistrate Judge Stephen Crocker on Monday.

Bhogal has been taken to UW Hospital for treatment, which could include heart bypass surgery. On Monday morning, Crocker ordered Bhogal released from custody so that he can remain at the hospital.

Bhogal is currently scheduled to appear in federal court in Brooklyn on Oct. 27, contingent upon his medical condition.

Here is hoping that Mr. Bhogal gets treated with legitimate medications and does not suffer the effects of bogus painkillers or life saving drugs to which he has been accused of dealing.

To read the Wisconsin State Journal story, visit:

To learn more about pharmaceutical anti-counterfeiting technology, visit: