The Partnership for Safe Medicines
Weekly UpdateDecember 13, 2010
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 Partnership For Safe Medicines (PSM) India Launches 24-Hour Helpline

Announcement Follows Rollout of PSM India Earlier this Week; Fills Much-Needed Gap in Protecting, Educating and Empowering Consumers


The Partnership for Safe Medicines (PSM) India, a group of nonprofit organizations and individuals dedicated to protecting consumers from spurious drugs, today announced the availability of a 24-hour helpline (1800-11-4424) to assist, educate and empower consumers across India. The announcement, part of a roundtable discussion comprised of public and private sector leaders, follows the formal launch of PSM India in New Delhi earlier this week.

"For the first time in decades, the various stakeholders in India's health care delivery system have joined together in a shared and aggressive effort to help protect consumers from the effects of this crisis," said Bejon Misra, trustee of the Consumer Online Foundation and founder of PSM India.

"People need to know that they have a trusted go-to resource that can help them navigate the increasingly complex and dangerous world of spurious drugs. We must do everything we can to keep consumers healthy while also empowering them through knowledge and information sharing. The helpline we're announcing today will do just that," he said.


PSM India"By providing an outlet for concerned citizens to learn about the serious risks associated with spurious drugs, PSM India is setting a model for others to follow. In Mumbai today, we joined with public and private sector leaders to discuss straightforward and practical solutions that get to the heart of this public health issue,"said Scott LaGanga, executive director of PSM.


"As I mentioned in New Delhi, spurious drugs are a borderless and dangerous threat that directly impact the health and well being of millions of people across the globe. Therefore, we must provide resources, share ideas, identify innovative approaches and directly empower patients to protect themselves online and off. We'll never have all the answers, so it's essential that we engage a variety of stakeholders and give them an opportunity to learn about the issue and provide feedback. The more we listen, the better chance we have of being successful in the long-term," he continued.


On Tuesday, PSM India unveiled a Web site ( to help consumers, businesses and government officials access knowledge and share ideas and information on ways to strengthen regulatory processes. The Web site is also designed to empower consumers and partners.


The Indian government estimates that substandard drugs account for about 8 percent of the country's drug supply, with independent estimates ranging from 12 to 25 percent.

"The spurious drug issue warrants a broad and international response with all stakeholders, especially law enforcement, at the table," said Tom Kubic, president and CEO of the Pharmaceutical Security Institute (PSI). "PSM India is exactly the type of effort that is needed to educate consumers and identify meaningful solutions that apply to every nation and region across the globe."
Top News

Partnership For Safe Medicines (PSM) Announces Major International Expansion with Launch of India Initiative

The Partnership for SafeMedicines (PSM), a group of nonprofit organizations and individuals dedicated to protecting consumers from counterfeit drugs, announced a major expansion of its international coalition with the launch of PSM India. The announcement, which brought together consumer advocates, industry leaders and government officials, marks the latest development in PSM's ongoing campaign to identify and implement meaningful solutions that address the worldwide counterfeit drug crisis.

Initial meetings were held in New Delhi on the 7th, and an additional meeting is being held on December 9th in Mumbai. Click here for the agenda.

"Counterfeit drugs are borderless, dangerous and present an equal threat to people of all races, classes and nationalities," said Scott LaGanga, executive director of PSM. "Since its inception, PSM has worked to cultivate a diverse and global conversation on the need for the public and private sectors to work together and take action to keep them out of drug supplies. We believe that India has made important contributions in this area and is poised to play a vital role going forward." (Read the full story here)

World News

FBI and FTC Arrest Fake Drug Spammer


Federal Bureau of Investigation agents disclosed last week that they had arrested Oleg Nikolaenko, a 23-year old Moscow resident, as the alleged mastermind behind the Mega-D botnet, a spam disperser that promoted counterfeit materials, and was used, according to the sworn affidavit of an FBI agent, to "deceptively [market] and [sell] counterfeit herbal 'male enhancement' pills and generic prescription drugs that were falsely advertised as FDA-approved," reports Information Week. Agents from the FBI and Federal Trade Commission had been following Nikolaenko since 2007, according to the Journal Sentinel, and arrested him November 4 while visiting the Las Vegas auto show. On November 16, he was indicted on one charge of violating the Controlling the Assault of Non-Solicited Pornography and Marketing Act. A grand jury probe has targeted him for additional violations of mail and wire fraud statues, reports Information Week. (Partnership for Safe Medicines, December 10, 2010; Link here)



Two Fake Drug Factories Shut Down


On Tuesday December 7, acting on a tip-off the Bangladeshi Rapid Action Battalion shut down and sealed two counterfeit medications factory in Dhaka, Bangladesh. The Rapid Action Battalion seized the fake drug factory called, Lakkhi Drug House and Joy Corporation, and arrested three people. The factory is located at the Bububazar Bhuiyan Medicine market in Dhaka. BD News 24 reports that Magistrate A.B.M. Anwar Pasha said that 500,000 Taka (approximately $7,000 US) of fake drugs were seized in the raid. The three, Rakibul Hasan Rakib, 25, Ruddha Hossain, 25, and Mohammad Ismail, 18 are accused of allegedly selling fake medicines at wholesale outlets near Mitford Hospital. Rapid Action Battalion Major Kismat Hayet said Rakibul and Akram ran the business, reports The Daily Star. (Partnership for Safe Medicines, December 10, 2010; Link here)



Philippine Department of Health Issues Fake Drug Warning


The Philippine Department of Health (DOH) issued a warning to the public against fake drugs and vitamin supplements that they believe have proliferated the country's markets.

Counterfeit drugs may contain harmful ingredients or lack the necessary ingredients and have low concentration of active ingredients that may impact efficacy, said DOH Regional Director Myrna Cabotaje in a government press release. She also emphasized the importance of Food and Drug Administration approval for medications sold in the country saying, "Imported drug or medicines brought in the country is also considered as counterfeit drug because it is not registered under FDA." (Partnership for Safe Medicines, December 8, 2010; Link here)


ExL Pharma's Life Sciences Serialization & Traceability For Brand Management

When: Jan 24 - 25 2011

Where: Philadelphia, PA

Description: A summit with the key-stakeholders from the pharmaceutical supply chain to discuss a strategy for addressing three different, yet intertwined, areas - counterfeiting, brand protection and regulatory compliance. With international requirements already in place in countries like Turkey and France and potential federal mandates on the horizon here in the U.S., development of a mandatory compliant (fully serialized and pedigree-ready) supply chain is on the radar. View the full conference program.

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