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US body demands tougher global response to “bad drugs”

BMJ 2013; 346 doi: http://dx.doi.org/10.1136/bmj.f1115 (Published 19 February 2013) Cite this as: BMJ 2013;346:f1115
  1. Bob Roehr
  1. 1Washington, DC

The US Institute of Medicine has called for tighter controls on the manufacturing and distribution of drugs in an effort to counter growing theft, adulteration, careless manufacture, and fraudulent labeling of medicines.

The institute’s global report, Countering the Problem of Falsified and Substandard Drugs,1 commissioned by the US Food and Drug Administration (FDA) and published last week, says, “Deaths from fake drugs go largely uncounted, to say nothing of the excess morbidity, time, and money wasted by using them.”

“Bad drugs” once were thought to be primarily a problem for lower and middle income countries. The US once manufactured most of what it consumed and …

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