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Archived updates for Monday, June 21, 2004

Over-boxing the answer to parallel trade risks?

According to
"The European Union parallel trade in pharmaceuticals is offering few benefits to cash-strapped national healthcare systems and may raise the risk of medication errors and entry of counterfeit medicines into the supply chain, according to a new report.
* * *
"Parallel traders open boxes of imported drugs, often removing tamper-evident packaging, and remove the foreign Patient Information Leaflet, substituting it for a local version. New labels are pasted over the relevant portions of the contents, e.g. the blister pack, and it is then re-boxed in the trader’s own box design.
"[A] Social Market Foundation report recommends that while it recognises the legality and modest benefits of parallel trade, it is important that the potential risks to patient safety do not become actual risks.
'To this end, the broad aim is to ensure product integrity, by ensuring that tamper-proof outer packaging remains intact. Re-boxing of medicines ought to be eschewed in favour of over-boxing,' it concludes. This will guarantee the integrity of the pharma companies' packaging and should make it harder for counterfeiters to use this route, as well as making it easier to spot mislabeling", said the SMF. 
William F. Heinze*
Thomas, Kayden, Horstemeyer & Risley, L.L.P.
100 Galleria Parkway, N.W., Suite 1750
Atlanta, GA 30339-5948  (USA)
Tel.:  (770) 738-2382
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*Admitted to practice in the Commonwealth of Virginia.  Not admitted in Georgia.
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