Many more fake drugs now using real APIs, US official says

Making pillsThe US Department of Commerce reports that more and more counterfeit pharmaceuticals are using real APIs to trick patients.

Globalisation of the active pharmaceutical ingredient (API) supply chain means raw materials are more readily available in countries where counterfeit manufacturing takes place.

The trend has helped counterfeiters change the composition of their products, Security Management reports.

"Twenty years ago most counterfeit medicines did not contain any medicinal ingredients. They had ground up dry wall, sawdust, anything to make the product look real," said Jeffrey Gren, director, Office of Health and Consumer Goods at the US Department of Commerce, said.

Gren was speaking at the Global Forum on Pharmaceutical Anti-Counterfeiting and Diversion this week, where he outlined what his department is doing to stop fake drugs. With so much of the supply chain located outside US borders, this means working with overseas agencies.

"We're working very collaboratively on this problem with China's State Food and Drug Administration and other regulatory authorities around the world," Gren said.

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