The FDA once again pitched in last week with other international regulators to crack down on illegal and counterfeit drugs being peddled over the internet. The FDA, Interpol and other authorities seized drugs, shut down some websites and made some arrests.
The spotlight is back on Pakistani customs officials. With the force having previously been accused of accepting bribes to facilitate global counterfeiting operations, the Pakistani Federal Investigation Agency (FIA) has now indicted 76 customs officials as part of an investigation into the unlawful clearance of raw materials.
Federal authorities have torn down another pillar in a wide-ranging business that sourced foreign-made cancer and other drugs and sold them to U.S. doctors at a discount. Some of the meds were cold-chain drugs that were sometimes left unrefrigerated in Pakistan.
The Department of Justice has indicted two men it says brought in thousands of counterfeit and misbranded Viagra tablets from China.
Last year, China shut down hundreds of manufacturing facilities making counterfeit drugs and toxic drug capsules. Now it is undertaking a 6-month campaign to stop drug and traditional Chinese medicine counterfeiters and online retailers of counterfeits.
China's SFDA is no more. The agency has gotten a promotion and a new name: the China Food and Drug Administration (CDFA).
China's oversight of drug manufacturing is often faulted for being weak and ineffective and the country is often considered the capital of drug counterfeiting.
One of the big challenges of slowing the flow of counterfeit drugs is its international nature. Fakes may be made in China, for example, and make stops in several continents before finding their way into the legitimate supply chain.
China, considered a key global source of counterfeit drugs, has picked up a new partner in its fight to tame that problem.
The idea of creating a national track and trace system for the pharmaceutical supply chain is apparently alive and kicking around Congress.