Reps. Steve Buyer, R-Ind., and Jim Matheson, D-Utah, Tuesday urged Congress to pass legislation addressing pharmaceutical counterfeiting.
“The reality is that we have very sophisticated criminal enterprises,” said Buyer.
Approximately 20,000 to 30,000 pharmaceutical packages are transported through mailing facilities each day, but the FDA has the means to examine only 1 percent of the packages, Buyer said, who believes that the Internet is to blame for the increasingly lucrative counterfeit pharmaceuticals market.
Buyer and Matheson view the current “return to sender” policy, which calls for potentially counterfeit pharmaceuticals to be returned rather than destroyed, as a flawed process in need of change.
Similar legislation is now being considered at the state level.
“We want to set a floor with regard to wholesale standards,” said Buyer. “We’re most hopeful that [Energy and Commerce Chairman John] Dingell includes [the legislation] in a manager’s amendment,” for drug import safety legislation, he said.
Buyer said he had originally requested a measure requiring physicians to ask patients where they purchase their prescribed pharmaceuticals, but has since backed off that position.
The goal is to assure consumers that “the entire supply chain has been safe and secure,” he said.
This article appears in the April 26, 2008, edition of NJ Daily.