e-Pedigree™ System Offers Unparalleled Safety
On August 30, 2006 the Food and Drug Administration posted an article on their web site warning consumers about a conglomeration of Canadian companies who were under investigation for selling counterfeit drugs on-line. Among the drugs available were "Lipitor, Diovan, Actonel, Nexium, Hyzaar, Ezetrol (known as Zetia in the United States), Crestor, Celebrex, Arimidex, and Propecia.". Not only are these drugs suspect as to their ingredients and dosage – the FDA notes that "counterfeit drugs may be toxic or contain doses that are too small to treat a medical condition, or so large that they could endanger the health of the user" – but many of these drugs were not even Canadian in origin. According to the FDA web site an operation conducted out of New York, Miami and Los Angeles found that "nearly half of the imported drugs the FDA intercepted from four selected countries were shipped to fill orders that consumers believed they were placing with "Canadian pharmacies." Of the drugs being promoted as "Canadian," based on accompanying documentation, 85 percent actually came from 27 other countries around the globe.".1
The problem of counterfeit drugs is certainly not restricted to individual consumers who are trying to find a good deal on the internet. Unfortunately, counterfeiting affects and endangers the entire supply chain: all the way from the manufacturer to the end consumer. A report released by an FDA Counterfeit Drug Task Force stated "We are concerned that the U.S. drug supply is increasingly vulnerable to a variety of increasingly sophisticated threats. We have witnessed an increase in counterfeiting activities and a more sophisticated ability to introduce finished dosage form counterfeits into legitimate drug distribution channels over the years." 2. This growing ability to disguise the true origins of these drugs means that dangerous counterfeits, originally introduced into the drug supply by malicious individuals and organizations, can be unknowingly passed through legitimate companies to the individual consumer.
For this reason, Morris and Dickson is now employing an e-Pedigree tracking system. Using barcode scan applications and other entry methods, Morris & Dickson captures transaction level product information and via labels containing unique serial numbers, manages and tracks products as they move through the warehouse, delivery routes, and to the buyer.
Morris and Dickson started construction of their e-Pedigree tracking system in June 2006. The first pedigree was sent in August 2006.
The e-Pedigree system is a significant step forward in securing the distribution chain of prescription drugs. By implementing and expanding this system, Morris and Dickson is able to offer its customers increased confidence that products purchased are obtained directly from the original manufacturer (except where certain manufacturers require Morris & Dickson to purchase from designated authorized distributors). With this system we are doing our part to protect and guard our portion of the supply chain. By doing so, we are offering our customers a safer product and a peace of mind that other distributors, who have not initiated a tracking system, cannot offer.
1FDA News, FDA Warns Consumers Not to Buy, viewed September 5, 2006 <http://www.fda.gov/bbs/topics/NEWS/2006/NEW01441.html>
2FDA Press Release, FDA Counterfeit Drug Task Force Report, viewed September 5, 2006 <http://www.fda.gov/oc/initiatives/counterfeit/report6_06.html
Thursday, September 07, 2006