Breaking news story from Canada — the Royal Canadian Mounted Police (the RCMP is Canada’s FBI) has admitted there are three or four counterfeit pharmaceutical investigations in the Greater Toronto area, but they won’t say anything else — including what drugs are involved. According to Ken Hansen, head of the RCMP’s federal enforcement unit and the co-chair of an Interpol committee on counterfeiting, the government has known about the threat of fake pharmaceuticals for some time — it was flagged in a 2000 RCMP report — but the rate at which it is growing is why it’s suddenly on the radar screens across the world. “You’ve got to evolve to meet the crime. Status quo isn’t an option. The problem will just get worse,” said Hansen. “Virtually every organized crime group in Canada is involved in counterfeit goods because it turns a high profit and comes with limited punishment and little enforcement.” That sounds ominously familiar to what’s going on in the U.S., Europe, Africa, and Asia. Health Canada and the U.S. Food and Drug Administration signed a memorandum of understanding to communicate and cooperate on issues of drug safety. I wonder if Health Canada has picked up the phone?
For more information on CMPI’s September 20th Washington, DC gathering of many of the world’s top counterfeit drug experts (including a free audio webcast) please visit www.rxcmpi.org.