New FDA Program Protects Pharmacies From Rogue Wholesale Drug Distributors

September 25, 2014
Krystle Vermes

The FDA launched the "Know Your Source" program to help health care professionals spot counterfeit drugs and reduce the threat of illegal drug trading.

In an attempt to help health care professionals spot counterfeit drugs and reduce the threat of illegal drug trading, the FDA recently launched the “Know Your Source” program.

“In order to protect your patients from unsafe or ineffective drugs, (the) FDA urges health care professionals to verify that their supplier is licensed by the state,” the agency wrote on the new program’s website. “Drugs from rogue wholesale drug distributors may harm your patients and expose them to unknown risks or side effects. (The) FDA advises health care providers to know the source for prescription drugs.”

The FDA noted that the role of wholesale drug distributors is to ensure that prescription medications are delivered safely and efficiently to pharmacies and health care professionals nationwide every day—and the “Know Your Source” educational program works to keep that initiative in place.

Through the program’s website, individuals can verify whether a particular wholesale drug distributor is licensed in a specific state and refer to indicators of bogus drugs, such as labels written in a language other than English and unfamiliar dosing recommendations.

A number of rogue companies have recently been caught distributing foreign versions of Botox and fake cancer drugs in the United States, the Associated Press reported. Such counterfeiters often target physicians and medical clinics with aggressive advertisements that claim to offer medications at lower prices.

Now, Ilisa Bernstein, acting director of the FDA's office of compliance, said the agency is “fighting back with their own medicine.”