THE POLICE CHIEF Volume: 75 Issue: 8 Dated: August 2008 Pages: 44-46,48
This article discusses the prevalence and extent of biologic counterfeiting.
Biologics are important medicines that save lives and prevent sickness. Many novel biologics are under development. These medicines have fallen into the hands of criminals in the past and are susceptible to simple alterations that increase their value, such as changing a label or refilling a vial. As they are made from living organisms, if they are discovered outside the normal supply chain, their therapeutic value may be greatly impaired. Law enforcement can contribute to improved patient safety and assist in maintaining the integrity of the drug supply by remaining alert for the presence of biologics during normal patrols. A biologic is a “preparation, such as a drug, a vaccine, or an antitoxin, that is synthesized from living organisms or their products and used medically as a diagnostic, preventive, or therapeutic agent.” Biologics have fallen into the hands of criminals in the past due to their high commercial value, criminals can increase the value of these medicines by changing the label or refilling used vials, and as biologics are made from living organisms, if they are discovered outside the normal supply chain, their therapeutic value can be greatly impaired. The Counterfeiting Incidence System (CIS) reveals that the kinds of products most frequently involved in these schemes are vaccines, cancer drugs, arthritis medications, and growth hormone. In 2005-2006, counterfeit biologics were found in 10 countries, including Brazil, China, Columbia, India, the Isle of Man, Mexico, Nigeria, Russia, Ukraine, and the United States. 1 figure, 19 notes
United States of America