Thursday, June 28, 2007

Fakers' Favorite Drugs

In 2006, the most popular targets for counterfeiters were Pfizer's blockbuster drug Viagra (sildenafil citrate), Eli Lilly's Cialis (tadalafil) and Bayer's Levitra (vardenafil) - all products for the treatment of erectile dysfunction.

Preliminary laboratory analyses by the US FDA on various drugs purchased via the internet have found counterfeits of: Lipitor (atorvastatin calcium); Diovan (valsartan); Actonel (risedronate sodium); Nexium (esomeprazole magnesium); Hyzaar (losartan potassium-hydrochlorothiazide); Zetia (ezetimibe); Crestor (rosuvastatin calcium); Celebrex (celecoxib); Arimidex (anastrozole) and Propecia (finasteride).

Add to this internationally the widespread counterfeiting of many anti-malarial, AIDS retroviral, and anti-TB drugs.

Now even the raw materials are under attack. T
he Synthetic Organic Chemical Manufacturers Association (SOCMA) of the US and the European Fine Chemicals Group (EFCG) banded together to demand increased regulatory inspections of foreign facilities manufacturing active pharmaceutical ingredients (APIs).

Thursday, June 14, 2007

"Made in China" ... but made of what?

There's been a recent explosion in news about fake products manufactured in China - some exported, and many sold domestically. Not flimsy golf clubs or shoddy Olympic 2008 T-Shirts, but potentially fatal fakes:

  • Fake plasma used in hospitals that contained no protein
  • Fake Toothpaste: Colgate-Palmolive said counterfeit "Colgate" toothpaste that may contain a toxic chemical had been found in discount stores in four U.S. states.
  • Petfood that contained Chinese wheat gluten contaminated with melamine is responsible for more than 100 pet deaths amongst nearly 500 cases of kidney failure

Monday, June 11, 2007

When Good Food Goes Bad - redux

We blogged a while ago about the problem of food traceability, particularly for fresh produce that is 'field packed' (like berries, tomatoes). Today we launched HarvestMark - an easy way for anyone to trace produce.

Consumers Look for Safe Food Amidst Expanding Recalls

Ironically, on the same day, the recall of suspected contaminated beef expanded dramatically.