The National Intellectual Property Rights Coordination Center (IPR Center) announced a new partnership between Homeland Security Investigations (HSI) and the Pharmaceutical Security Institute (PSI) to combat illicit pharmaceutical trade and protect patients from the health and safety threats posed by counterfeit medications, Dec. 19.
Alongside PSI, which represents pharmaceutical companies around the world, the IPR Center and HSI will develop comprehensive strategies to investigate the manufacture, importation, transportation, sale, and distribution of counterfeit or unapproved medications and medical devices, as well as strengthen the supply chain across public and private sectors.
Jim Mancuso, Director of the IPR Center, and Todd Ratcliffe, President and CEO for PSI, signed a memorandum of understanding (MOU) agreement during a ceremony to commemorate the partnership at the IPR Center headquarters in Crystal City, Virginia.
“According to the World Health Organization over 1 million deaths occur annually from counterfeit medicine and drugs,” said Mancuso. “Networking, connecting resources and sharing information enhances our ability to prevent the sale and importation of these dangerous pharmaceuticals around the world and protect consumers from the harm illegal online pharmacies pose.”
As consumers look for more convenient and affordable methods of acquiring medicines, many have turned to the internet. However, doing so comes with the risk of purchasing counterfeit pharmaceuticals, that range from drugs with no active ingredients to those with dangerous impurities.
“Consuming counterfeit or illegally diverted medicines poses a threat to public health and can have serious consequences for individuals and communities globally. PSI’s partnership with the IPR Center reinforces our commitment to continue to use all of our resources, while leveraging our strong relationship with our industry and governmental partners to help stop the illegal flow of counterfeit and unapproved medical products globally,” said Ratcliffe.
If you suspect you have received counterfeit medicine or suspect the illicit trade of pharmaceutical products, contact the tip line at 1-866-347-2423, fill out the online tip form, or contact the closest HSI field office.
For more information on counterfeit medicines or to verify before you buy, visit Safe Pharmacy.