A Renewed Commitment To Safety

Our companies work hard to ensure safety, security of the drug supply chain.

PhRMA StaffFebruary 24, 2011

Last year, a high-profile theft of many millions of dollars worth of prescription medicines added a dose of a drama to the biopharmaceutical sector - one that we'd like to avoid. Unfortunately, that theft wasn't the first of its kind (though it was certainly one of the largest).

America's biopharmaceutical research companies work hard with other members of the supply chain, like distributors and pharmacies, to ensure its security - and with it, patient safety.

After all, some of those medicines could find their way into the hands of America's patients. And though the companies can vouch for the quality of their medicines during the manufacturing stage, the disruption of the supply chain means the medicines may have been mishandled, stored improperly, intentionally manipulated, and more, potentially posing a risk to patients.

So, amidst the obvious "Thomas Crowne Affair" heist jokes, some companies have gathered, along with PhRMA, together to fight back against medical products theft by forming the new Coalition for Patient Safety and Medicine Integrity.

According to an article in The Hill, one goal of the coalition is to seek harsher penalties for those who steal medical products: "For example, they say criminal law doesn't distinguish between the theft of a truck loaded with tires and a truck carrying cancer medication."

Biopharmaceutical research companies spend billions of dollars to develop medicines with the best safety profile possible, and view it as a serious commitment to America's patients. Now they also are teaming with other partners to further ensure that those medicines are ultimately delivered safely to the patients who need them.

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