Counterfeit clippings: global news round-up's round-up of pharmaceutical supply chain security news from the world's press features reports from Nigeria, Vietnam, the UK, Angola, Congo, the Democratic Republic of Congo, Namibia, Zambia, and the USA.

Nigeria's National Agency for Food and Drug Administration and Control (NAFDAC) has proposed new legislation that will raise the maximum penalty for medicine counterfeiters to life imprisonment, and grant courts greater powers to seize the assets of those involved in the illicit trade. A report in The Nation newspaper notes that NAFDAC Director-General Dr. Paul Orhii revealed the proposals at a meeting organised by India's Pharmaceutical Export Promotion Council (Pharmexcil). The new law is currently under review by Nigeria's Ministry of Justice ahead of being submitted to the National Assembly.

Staying in Nigeria, NAFDAC and the Lagos State Task Force on Counterfeit, Fake Drugs and Unwholesome Processed Foods have shut down 20 illegal pharmaceutical outlets in the Lekki area of Lagos, according to a PM News report. The action is a continuation of a collaboration between the two organisations, which led to the closure of more than 1,250 illegal pharmacies at the Idumota drug market last year (see article here).

The Director of Viet Phap Pharmaceutical Joint Stock Company in Vietnam, Huynh Ngoc Quang, has been detained by Ho Chi Minh City Police on after a year's hunt on suspicion of manufacturing counterfeit medicines. Fourteen other members of the ring have been in detention since early 2010, according to VietNamNet.

Owners of horses in the UK are being warned against purchasing veterinary medicines from unregulated sites because of the risk of exposing their animals to counterfeit or unsafe goods, reports Horse & Hound magazine. The Veterinary Medicines Directorate (VMD) is introducing a new inspection and logo scheme for UK online pharmacies in April 2012. The VMD inspections may include test purchases and physical inspection of premises, says the article, while the logo will provide a link to information including the name and qualifications of the individual running the site.

Ministers from five African nations - Angola, Congo, Democratic Republic of Congo, Namibia and Zambia - have signed a memorandum of understanding to strengthen cross-border co-operation for effective disease surveillance and containment and to curb the proliferation of counterfeit and substandard medicines, according to the Zambia Daily Mail. The Ministers also agreed to strengthen national regulatory authorities and share medicine quality control capacity. Progress will be reviewed in a year's time.

A man in Sacramento, USA, has pleaded guilty to importing counterfeit erectile dysfunction medicines from China after a shipment of 1,000 fake Viagra tablets were seized by the US Customs and Border Patrol, according to a US Department of Justice press release. Troy James Taylor was involved in importing thousands of counterfeit Viagra and Cialis tablets between May 2007 and March 2008, according to the DoJ. He is due to be sentenced on June 2.

In the UK, the former head of pharmaceutical wholesaler Kemco has told a jury he was unaware that drugs purchased by the company were fakes manufactured in China. Richard Kemp claims that he was misled by co-accused Peter Gillespie in the case, which saw around 100,000 doses of fake versions of AstraZeneca's Casodex for prostate cancer, antipsychotic Zyprexa and heart drug Plavix reach the hands of patients in 2006-07, reports

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