The Partnership for Safe Medicines
Weekly UpdateAugust 3, 2010
In This Issue
Top News
World News
Article Headline
Quick Links
More About Us
Join Our Mailing List
Follow us on Twitter
FDA: Don't Use Unapproved IUDs

The U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) recently warned women not to use unapproved intrauterine devices (IUDs), a form of birth control, in part because they can potentially be counterfeited.


The FDA reminded health professionals in a July 22 letter that unapproved IUDs may be ineffective and unsafe. In the letter, the FDA said it must approve all IUDs to ensure that they meet federal safety standards.


The letter was partially spurred by a recent incident in Rhode Island where women received unapproved IUDs.

"The recent issue with patients in Rhode Island unknowingly receiving imported, unapproved IUD/IUSs highlights the unacceptable risk patients may be exposed to when a product's identity, purity, source, handling, and storage cannot be verified," Theresa Toigo, FDA's liaison with health professionals, wrote in the letter.


The FDA cautions that trying to save money by purchasing IUDs that are reportedly made in Canada is not worth the risk.


"Unapproved products bring a lot of unknowns into the equation," said FDA compliance officer Kathleen Anderson. "An internet ad may claim to sell IUDs made in Canada, but there's no way to be sure. They might have been made anywhere in the world and in unsanitary or undesirable conditions."


The FDA also notes that legitimate online pharmacies will have a seal from the National Association of Boards of Pharmacy, which is commonly known as the VIPPS seal. VIPPS stands for Verified Internet Pharmacy Practice Sites.
Top News

Health Canada: Don't Buy Drugs at

Health Canada, the country's national health agency, recently warned consumers about the potential dangers of purchasing prescription drugs at Health Canada cautions that the site is not a licensed Canadian pharmacy, and that it has not authorized the products sold by the website, according to a release from the health agency. (Partnership for Safe Medicines, July 28, 2010; Link here)
World News

Canada: Counterfeit Lifestyle Drugs Continue to Show Up


Counterfeit lifestyle drugs continue to show a worldwide presence as demonstrated with a recent report from Canada. The tip came from a consumer, who purchased the counterfeit drugs at a retail location in Montreal. Health Canada worked with the Manufacturer to confirm the illegitimacy of the product, and then inspected the store which has pulled the product from its shelves. Additionally, Swiss officials report that counterfeit lifestyle drugs contributed to an alarming 75 percent rise in illegal drug imports during the first half of this year. ("Canadians find fake [lifestyle drugs]; inspect retailer," FiercePharma, August 2, 2010; Story here)

China: Counterfeit Drugs Still Easily Obtainable Via Unlicensed Websites


Numerous unlicensed websites that offer a variety of counterfeit drugs are still doing business online even after a government watchdog exposed them publicly. The drugs being offered allegedly attack diabetes, skin problems and a variety of chronic illnesses. In April, the administration released a list of 20 such websites that sell fake traditional Chinese drugs but the Global Times discovered that only two websites on the list were shut down and most are still in operation. ("Counterfeit drugs still just a click away," Global Times, July 30, 2010; Story here)

Philippines: Coalition Partially Blames Slow Judicial Process for Counterfeit Drugs


The Coalition Against Fake Medicines, a group of public and private institutions whose aim is to rid the Philippines of counterfeit drugs, recently called the country's slow judicial process a major factor in the rise of phony medicines. The Coalition, which includes the Philippines' Department of Health and Pfizer, recently held a press conference to speak out on the issue, according to the Manila Bulletin. "The judicial process is slow, it takes 5 to 6 years to reach fruition on certain cases. We need rapid response because this involves health and safety issues of people," Scott A. Davis, senior director for Global Security/Asia Pacific Region, told the press conference. ("Slow judicial grind blamed for fake drugs' proliferation," Manila Bulletin, July 28, 2010; Story here)



Anti-counterfeiting Americas (Bosto
n, USA)
When: Wednesday, Sep 8, 2010
Where: Boston, USA
Description: Link here

PSM's Inaugural 2010 Interchange

When: Friday, Oct 8, 2010
Where: Washington, D.C

PSM InterchangeThe Partnership for Safe Medicines invites you to save the date for an intimate conference bringing together patient groups, providers, pharmaceutical company quality experts, enforcement personnel, policymakers, regulatory agency experts and other interested parties to discuss key issues around counterfeit drugs and other unsafe medicines. Register by August 1st to take advantage of reduced registration fees.

Register Now
About the Partnership for Safe Medicines
The Partnership for Safe Medicines is a group of organizations and individuals that have policies, procedures, or programs to protect consumers from counterfeit or contraband medicines. For more information, please visit