Partnership For Safe Medicines (PSM) Announces Major International Expansion with Launch of India Initiative

The Partnership for Safe Medicines (PSM), a group of nonprofit organizations and individuals dedicated to protecting consumers from counterfeit drugs, announced a major expansion of its international coalition with the launch of its partner PSM India.

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The announcement, which brought together consumer advocates, industry leaders and government officials, marks the latest development in PSM's ongoing campaign to identify and implement meaningful solutions that address the worldwide counterfeit drug crisis.

“Counterfeit drugs are borderless, dangerous and present an equal threat to people of all races, classes and nationalities,” said Scott LaGanga, executive director of PSM. “Since its inception, PSM has worked to cultivate a diverse and global conversation on the need for the public and private sectors to work together and take action to keep them out of drug supplies. We believe that India has made important contributions in this area and is poised to play a vital role going forward.”

“For the first time in decades, the various stakeholders in India's health care delivery system have joined together in a shared and aggressive effort to help protect consumers from the effects of this crisis,” said Bejon Misra, trustee of the Consumer Online Foundation and founder of PSM India. “As it becomes increasingly difficult for patients and consumers to separate real from spurious drugs, we believe it's time to take further steps to protect the health and well being of people across India.”

PSM India today also unveiled a Web site to help consumers, businesses and government officials access knowledge and share ideas and information on ways to strengthen regulatory processes. The Web site is also designed to empower consumers and partners.

Participants at today's launch event include Vince H. Suneja J.D., LLM, First Secretary, MAC (USDOC), Embassy of the United States of America; Devendra Chaudhary, IAS, Joint Secretary to The Government of India, Department of Pharmaceuticals, Ministry of Chemicals and Fertilisers; Dr. S. M. Jharwal, Chairman, National Pharmaceutical Pricing Authority (NPPA), Government of India and S. Krishnan, Chairman of Healthy You Foundation.

As the Obama administration recently cited in its Intellectual Property Enforcement Strategy, approximately 8 percent of the bulk medicines imported into the United States are counterfeit, unapproved, or substandard, and 10 percent of global pharmaceutical commerce, or $21 billion, involves counterfeit drugs.

“The counterfeit drug issue warrants a broad and international response with all stakeholders, especially law enforcement, at the table,” said Tom Kubic, president and CEO of the Pharmaceutical Security Institute (PSI). “PSM India is exactly the type of effort that is needed to educate consumers and identify meaningful solutions that apply to every nation and region across the globe.”

Today's event follows a first-of-its kind Interchange forum hosted recently by PSM in Washington, D.C. FDA Commissioner Margaret Hamburg delivered the keynote address.
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