Monday, April 03, 2006

Recent news on fakes
  • The latest countefeit drug to be found on the internet: the anti-obesity drug rimonabant (which will be marketed as Acomplia). This drug has yet to receive EMEA approval - but is already available via the internet. It joins 169 other fake drugs already identified as being readily available on the internet in the EU.
  • Cigar Aficionado reported a recent of cigar counterfeiters seems to have finally shown some teeth in federal prosecution of such cases. The counterfeiters had boxes and bands to make millions of $ of fake stogies... including: Cohiba, Hoyo de Monterrey, Montecristo, Partagas, Romeo y Julieta, Trinidad, Saint Luis Rey, Bolivar, San Cristobal and H. Upmann cigar brands. Altadis U.S.A. owns the U.S. rights to many of those brands. General Cigar Co. owns the U.S. rights to Cohiba, Partagas and Bolivar.
  • GSK joins the list of pharma companies piloting RFID-tagging of high risk drugs. GSK is running a pilot on Trizivir, its anti-AIDS drug, and joins Purdue's OxyContin painkiller. Pfizer is also testing RFID to authenticate and track shipments of Viagra in the U.S., while distributor McKesson is also using the tagged Viagra in its own RFID technology pilot. These pilots are intended to iron out some of the technical and standards issues facing unit-level tagging. One issue is what information will be in the EPC tag. To protect consumer privacy, the drug name will not be stored in the tag - which will only contain a randomized serial number that references an external (secure?) database. Major drug companies met recently in Rome as part of the Healthcare User Group (HUG), to discuss the issues they're facing and to try to establish standards. Several of the presentations (which are on their public website) are very informative.
  • Squeezing the balloon. Xiang Yang market infamous for selling fakes has been closed in China, following on from the closure of Beijing's Silk Market. However, word is already out that the new place to get fakes is in a place called Lou Yang in southern Shanghai. Watch this space.