Pharmacy Today, the magazine published by the American Pharmacists Association (APA) in July started a new series of articles about "What's in the Bottle".
As the publisher L. Micheal Posey in the July edition so aptly writes in his Today's Perspective:
Pharmacists and the public recently have faced a rash of extensive and disheartening recalls of medications. It's difficult to know whether something is amiss in the world of quality control or if this is just another symptom of the general problems in today's world. We do, after all, seem to be living in an era where humanity's technologic and scientific prowess seems to be exceeding the ability to predict and handle problems (think oil spill) and where some companies appear to be viewing product-liability problems as remote possibilities or perhaps another line on their balance sheet (consider some of the settlements and fines paid by pharmaceutical companies in recent years, with amounts in the hundreds of millions or even billions of dollars).
As detailed in FDA inspection reports and other documents, some companies in the ethical pharmaceutical industry are engaging in practices once thought of as completely out of the question: use of contaminated raw materials, product of medications outside current Good Manufacturing Practices, and release of products that have failed quality control tests.
At the same time, the shift of contract pharmaceutical manufacturing to other countries is taxing the U.S.-based FDA's ability to oversee manufacturing processes of companies making prescription medications, nonprescription products, and dietary supplements. Counterfeit medications are found far too often in the medication-supply chain in the United States and elsewhere. Drug products are being stolen by the truckload from warehouses and during interstate transport and diverted to the largely illegal Internet-based market or to collaborating buyers in the health profession who are eager for the "savings". Pharmacies are being robbed and burglarized for the valuable medications they stock, with diversions going mostly to the illicit market bu perhaps some back int the pharmaceutical supply chain.
These situations have pharmacist wondering. "What's in the bottle?"
The July edition of Pharmacy Today has an excellent first piece in the series titled, Empty Shelves: Med Recalls Creating Questions which details to newest challenges faced by the pharmaceutical supply chain and industry giants Baxter and McNeil.
Secure Pharma Chain is excited that publications that cater to pharmacists are begining to weigh in on the critical issue of supply chain safety and the huge business that fraudulent, adulterated, diverted and counterfeit medications have become.
Ultimately Secure Pharma Chain believes that pharmacists as with other members of the pharmaceutical supply chain must take measures to authenticate and validate their inventories before they pass them onto the consumer.
Technologies exist today that enable the supply chain to efficently and economically authenticate pharmaceuticals within their sealed unit-of-sale container.
To read the Pharmacy Today series, visit: http://www.pharmacytoday.org/.
To learn more about pharmaceutical authentication solutions, visit: http://www.xstreamsystems.net/.