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    Bernard Meltzer, posted by HBas

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The FDA has announced it will track pharmaceuticals from the factory, to wholesaler to pharmacy. In fact, there is an 18-year-old law that requires wholesalers to track drugs from the factory to the retail outlet - the pharmacy. The FDA will now enforce this law.

This move is aimed at stamping out the traffic of counterfeit drugs - drugs that look the same as the real thing, but either do not contain the essential active ingredient or have some contaminants. If a drug does not have the essential active ingredient it is completely useless.

Full Details Herein this June 9, 2006 press release

Info about counterfeit medicines from FDA
 

Rosa

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Thanks TSOW,
I saw a show last week on Dateline about counterfeit drugs, it really was an eye opener.
Rosa
 

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Rosa,

What was the essence of their report? Dateline usually delivers useful information.
 

Holly

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Hi TSOW,
I personally have found this topic very important and interesting!
Thank you for the post! :)
 

Rosa

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Dateline did an entire show on Conterfeit drugs and how easy and cheap it was for people to bring them into the US. The show focused on this lady in China and how she met with Dateline reps and they made deals to bring thousands and thousands of phony pills into the US. They might still have a link on their website which will tell you more. The show did show how similar the fakes were to the real thing, unfortunately the fakes typically have no active ingrediants in them and some are actually harmful (one place used highway paint to color the pills). Once these fakes are brought in they are then brokered into the market here and sold throughout the market.
Hope this helps and again, I would check out their website as they might have more info for you there.
In friendship
Rosa
 

Rosa

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I forgot to mention that these fakes cause even more harm when someone is taking them instead of getting the medication they need.
Rosa
 

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The link to the Dateline story is Here

The top story on the page reviews the FDA announcement we are discussing, and the program Rosa referred to is discussed lower on the page.

The article includes additional links to resources on fake drugs.
 

Halo

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I also saw the episode on Dateline last week and I have to agree that it was an eye-opener. I didn't realize that there were so many drugs that were counterfeit. I also thought that it was interesting how an expert from Pfizer could not tell the difference between the real and fake Viagra until he put them beside each other. That is really scary because I don't think that most of us could tell the difference even with them beside each other. To me they looked like the real ones.

I had never thought of the meds that I get from the pharmacy as being possibly fake or not what was prescribed until I saw this episode. I know for me I will be much more aware of what I am getting from the pharmacy.

I also think that the idea of having a bar code on meds when they arrive in the pharmacy so that they can be scanned and verified from the maker of the drug that they are real is a great one. I would love to see that implimented in every pharmacy.

Nancy
 

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I also think that the idea of having a bar code on meds when they arrive in the pharmacy so that they can be scanned and verified from the maker of the drug

Nancy,

There does not seem to be an easy answer, except perhaps by providing a deterrent such as very stiff penalties to pharmacists for contraventions. 99% of pharmacists are respected professionals with professional integrity, but there have been unfortunate isolated cases of unscrupulous pharmacists such as the guy who was diluting cancer medications a few years back.

As with just about anything, the bad guys will try to find ways of beating the system.

Fortunately in Canada and the U.S. and in most Countries pharmacy is regulated and the standards of the profession are monitored.

When it comes to our health, sometimes looking to save a few dollars can result in a greater loss, by taking a chance on unknown sources of supply, such as nameless, faceless internet medication suppliers.
 

Halo

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TSOW said:
99% of pharmacists are respected professionals with professional integrity, but there have been unfortunate isolated cases of unscrupulous pharmacists such as the guy who was diluting cancer medications a few years back.

TSOW,

I agree that most pharmacists are respected professionals and I did not intend for my post to sound judgmental of their intergrity. My thought behind the bar scanning code was more for the security features that it would benefit both the pharmacist and the patient. I also think that it would be less likely that the pharmacist would be found liable legally if there was a bar scanning practice. I also think that having the bar scanning practice would give the pharmacist peace of mind knowing that the drug that they are giving a customer/patient was the real thing and not a phony.

Again I was not coming down hard on the pharmacists...I know that they do a great job.

Nancy
 

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I did not intend for my post to sound judgmental of their integrity

I didn't think that at all :). You made an interesting point about security in pharmaceutical marketing, and I ran with your point for the sake of discussion. Your point brought out the cynical side of my thinking process :eek:

Having had a professional connection with retail pharmacy, {I am not a pharmacist} I know how easy it is for an unscrupulous person in that profession could short circuit the system.

Luckily for society, there are some built in safeguards are present, that can detect inconsistencies.

As with most professions the integrity of the practitioner is a large part of maintaining trust and security.
 

Halo

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TSOW,

Glad to hear that you didn't think that I was sounding judgmental. Of course that was not my intention. When I read your post it brought out the defensive side of me (which happens sometimes). I don't want to be misinterpreted and as people have said before, it is hard when posting on the internet because you can't see others facial reactions.

TSOW said:
As with most professions the integrity of the practitioner is a large part of maintaining trust and security.

I think that you are right on the money when you say the above. I think that would probably ring true for most professions.

When I spoke of the liability on the part of pharmacists, I was thinking of how the scanning code device would help to cut out the pharmacists as having legal liability and the liability would go directly to the manufacturer of the meds. I know as I have had a case (I work in a lawfirm) similar to this.

Great discussion and points of view!

Nancy
 

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