PHARMACY BOARDS FOCUS ON Rx DRUG COUNTERFEITING
Concerns over prescription drug counterfeitingsurfaced during the NationalAssociation of Boards of Pharmacy's(NABP) Fall Educational Conference. Aleading expert warned that organizedcriminals and "unscrupulous wholesalers"are endangering the nation'spharmaceutical supply.
In an address to the meeting, investigativereporter Katherine Eban toldstate pharmacy board regulators that"there is no bigger nightmare for a pharmacistthan to discover [that] what is inthe bottle is not what is on the label."That nightmare is happening more andmore, however.
"Convicted narcotics dealers"are discovering"that there is more money inpharmaceuticals than in trafficking illegaldrugs,"she said.
Eban, author of the book DangerousDoses: How Counterfeiters Are ContaminatingAmerica's Drug Supply, contendsthat much of the increase in adulterated,expired, and counterfeit drugscan be linked directly to criminals. Forexample, the scheme to distribute counterfeitLipitor (atorvastatin calcium) washatched in a Miami prison by a marijuanatrafficker, she said.
Eban also placed blame on unscrupulousdrug wholesalers who buy medicationsfrom Medicaid patients, remove theprescription labels, then resell thosesame drugs to the government.