Drug manufacturers and distributors work together in a robust system to deliver high-quality products, but our pharmaceutical supply has become increasingly complex in recent years. Medicines originate in factories all over the world, moving into the American marketplace through supply chains that can involve numerous processing plants, manufacturers, suppliers, brokers, packagers and distributors.
This interactive graphic presents and overview of today's globalized pharmaceutical supply chain and examines vulnerabilities that have allowed substandard and counterfeit products to enter the system.
Representative Edward Markey, a Democrat from Massachusetts, on Thursday became the latest lawmaker to propose legislation that would give the U.S. Food and Drug Administration greater regulatory authority over drug compounding.
On Thursday, May 23, the House Energy & Commerce Subcommittee on Health held a hearing, entitled "Examining Drug Compounding." Gabrielle Cosel, a drug safety expert, testified on the need to clarify oversight of compounding pharmacies on the state and federal level.
Public health and consumer advocacy groups are attacking Senate legislation designed to tighten oversight of specialized pharmacies such as the one at the center of this past fall’s deadly meningitis outbreak, saying it does not adequately address health risks.
''A subsidiary of India's largest pharmaceutical company has agreed to pay a record $500 million in fines and penalties for selling adulterated drugs and lying to federal regulators in a case that is part of an ongoing crackdown on the quality of generic drugs flowing into the U.S."
"As differing bills for securing the pharmaceutical supply chain wind their way through the US House and Senate, a key hurdle to passing legislation may have just been cleared. Earlier this week, the National Community Pharmacists Association – which is a member of an influential industry coalition that has been floating its own proposals – is now willing to back either bill."
"At least 67 people have died in 20 outbreaks caused by contaminated drugs since 2001, experts told a Senate hearing Thursday. The Food and Drug Administration says there have likely been more cases than that, but they have no way of telling now."
"State pharmacy officials on Thursday threw their support behind a proposal giving the Food and Drug Administration authority over large compounding pharmacies, in an effort to head off more outbreaks tied to contaminated medications."
The U.S. Senate Committee on Health, Education, Labor and Pensions held a hearing on May 9 entitled "Pharmaceutical Compounding: Proposed Legislative Solution." Pew's Allan Coukell, a pharmacist and drug safety expert, testified on the need to strengthen oversight of the compounding industry.
When a doctor sticks a needle in you, you expect that the drugs it carries won’t be tainted. But, possibly owing to a strange gray area in federal law, thousands of patients last October got injections for back pain that contained highly dangerous fungal meningitis, and dozens of them died. Members of the Senate Health, Education, Labor and Pensions Committee are now seeking to fix the government’s oversight of the obscure world of compounding pharmacies. The reforms they want are overdue.
The Pew Charitable Trusts commented on the draft proposal to secure drug distribution in the United States. Although recognizing that the draft is the product of a sustained effort to address a complex system and balance sometimes competing imperatives, Pew shared areas of significant concern.
The House Energy & Commerce Subcommittee on Health will hold a hearing on April 25 entitled "Securing Our Nation’s Prescription Drug Supply Chain." Allan Coukell, a pharmacist and drug safety expert, will testify on the need to establish a national system to track and authenticate medicine. The principles outlined in his prepared testimony are supported by other stakeholders in statements from consumer, patient, public health, and industry groups.
The U.S. Food and Drug Administration late last week said it found widespread safety violations at more than two dozen specialized compounding pharmacies. The agency’s announcement comes after a nationwide outbreak of meningitis that killed more than 50 people and sickened hundreds who received contaminated injections made at a Massachusetts pharmacy. More info