GPhA announces qualified support for a medication tracking bill

4/22/2008

ARLINGTON, Va. A new bill being introduced in the House by Reps. Steve Buyer, R-Ind., and Jim Matheson, D-Utah, has received mixed views from the Generic Pharmaceutical Association.

The bill, “Safeguarding America’s Pharmaceuticals Act” is aimed at marking or tracking prescription medications that enter the U.S. from foreign countries in an effort to control the problem of counterfeit drugs appearing in patients’ prescription bottles.

The association said it was happy that a federal system would be established but said, “such a system should be risk-based and driven by technology that works for all participants in the drug supply chain.” It also called for competition when creating these e-pedigree standards as a way to “foster innovation.”

“A national system should be interoperable and reliable where everyone in the supply chain can communicate effectively and get needed medicines to consumers. A system with multiple technologies would create great confusion within the supply chain. Most of all, it would harm patients who will be left waiting for their medicines,” stated GPhA president Kathleen Jaeger.

She also noted that, “Due to their low costs, generics are not really targets of counterfeiters. To keep costs affordable, we must work together to create a system that does not lead to less competition, delayed access and higher costs for consumers.”

The association has been working on tracking systems for the entire drug supply chain and stated that generic companies have been conducting studies to see which systems work.

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