Pfizer’s Getting Ready for its ePedigree Trial; Update on Drug Counterfeiting and Diversion

Counterfeiting has become a huge business, accounting for nearly 3% of the world's GDP, and, if pharmaceutical counterfeiting, already a $35-billion global business, according to WHO, continues at its current pace, in 10 years, one in five consumers of drugs will take a fake drug.  This overview by legal policy experts Mark Mutterperl, Jessica Parise and Chehrzade Chemcham and published in the U.K.'s The Manufacturer, looks the global trend and summarizes discussion at the Global Anticounterfeiting Congress, which took place in late January. But RFID Journal recently reported on Pfizer's upcoming test of its e-Pedigree system (to download the article, click here)....for a recent update on e-Pedigrees from PharmaManufacturing.com, click here).  In the meantime, this week brought news of a successful drug diversion ring bust in India.  Leading the ring were seemingly "ordinary" businessmen.  It's always nice to see some dent made, however small, in this huge grey menace. This was reported recently by a local newspaper in Mumbai, India.... Traders held for smuggling    Three city-based businessmen have been arrested by the Directorate of Revenue Intelligence (DRI) for allegedly involving in smuggling high-value pharmaceutical drugs worth Rs 7 crore. Manish Bhavishi, Tajdin Charania and Kamlesh Bhalani acted in connivance with another key accused, Sajid Malik Nazir, a Hong Kong-based Pakistani.   DRI sources said, Bhavishi was remanded in judicial custody till March 7 while Charnia and Bhalani were remanded in judicial custody till March 15. In his remand application, investigating officer Jayant Nair said, Acting on specific information, DRI officials intercepted businessmen Bhavishi and Najarali Charania who arrived from London by Emirates Airways on February 20 at Sahar International airport. During a search of their baggage, high-value pharmaceutical drugs worth Rs 2 lakh were found. When questioned, the two businessmen could not produce documents in support of the drug possession. Later, storage premises of Bhavishi on the first floor of Jyoti Chambers, Narsi Natha street in South Mumbai was searched on February 20, resulted in the recovery of 85 sealed bags each stated to contain one kg each of  Miglitol, a drug of Chinese origin and another sealed bag contained another pharmaceutical drug one kg of Ethynal Estradiol. DRI officials also allegedly seized rubber stamps of M/s Venus Pharma, M/S B.V.Sales Corporation & Bhavna Traders, blank letter heads, a blank bill of M/s Saino Impex and a bag-sealing machine collectively worth Rs 50 lakh from the premises. The DRI officials further searched the office of M/s Balaji Pharmachem at Ashoka Shopping centre in South Mumbai, belonging to Charania on February 20 and seized import documents pertaining to M/s Palam Pharma, rubber stamps of firms like M/s D.D. Raw Pharma, M/s Reliable Agencies and M/s Swiss Parneteruls Pvt. Ltd, a lap-top, and certain other documents  pertaining to purchase and sale of pharmaceutical drugs. DRI sources said, During interrogation, main accused Bhavishi said he was organising large-scale smuggling of high-value pharmaceutical drugs through carriers. He also reportedly admitted selling Ketamine to local traders. He imported pharmaceutical drugs from China in the name of other firms like M/s Palam Pharma and sold the same in local market. He has contacts with a Hong-Kong based Pakistani national Sajid Malik Nazir who procures pharmaceutical drugs at Hong Kong. He had recruited 16 to 17 persons who have been travelling to Hong Kong & Bangladesh regularly for the same purpose. The accused would pack the smuggled items and sell it in local market.