Articles from October 2008

‘King of Viagra’ jailed for supplying fake drugs

A doctor – dubbed the ‘King of Viagra’ – is to be jailed for three years after being involved in a conspiracy supplying counterfeit Viagra (sildenafil) to patients around the world.

Dr George Patino, 48, a Mexican national, was told he was a “disgrace to his profession” by a judge at the Kingston Crown Court where Patino pleaded guilty and was sentenced to three years imprisonment.

Patino is the latest in a group of businessman selling fake drugs to be prosecuted by the Medicines and Healthcare products Regulatory Agency in an operation known as Stormgrand. Read the full story here. (15 October 2008, PharmaTimes online)

‘Crime Medicine’ video to inform Swedes about the dangers of purchasing medications online

The Swedish Medical Products Agency is launching a nationwide campaign to inform Swedish citizens that more than 60 percent of prescription drugs sold on the internet are counterfeit and potentially dangerous, or substandard.

Not less than 96 percent of online pharmacies are run by criminals, according to a 2008 study by European Alliance for Access to Safe Medicines.

“Consumers should be aware that what they order on the net and get delivered home in the mail may not be what they think it is. Medications have been found to include floor polish, blue ink and heavy metals, ingredients that have nothing to do with drugs,” says Ursula Forner, communications director at the Swedish Medical Products Agency.

Read the full story here and watch the ‘Crime Medicine’ video here. (15 October 2008, Swedish Medical Products Agency)

Pharma repackaging/relabelling must be outlawed, says EU study

New legislation is needed to outlaw the repackaging and relabeling of medicines, and to ensure that the original packaging is not opened before the pack reaches the patient, concludes a report on parallel imports conducted for the European Commission.The report acknowledges that parallel traders do, on occasion, identify mistakes in original packaging and meet specific supply shortages but, it says, apart from “such minor exceptions, » there are no benefits to patient safety as a result of parallel trade, only disadvantages. A law protecting original packs of patented medicines from being altered or opened before they reach the patient would be clear, practical and unambiguously beneficial to EU citizens, it adds. Read the full story here. (9 October 2008, PharmaTimes online)

Pharma Secure Chain 2008

Lock Down Security against Counterfeit Medicines: Protect your Revenue and Reputation
October 21-22, 2008 • Thistle Marble Arch, London, UK

‘Industry needs to know NOW how to prevent their pharmaceutical market being affected by counterfeit drugs from synthesis to patient.’

“The US based Centre for Medicines in the Public Interest predicts that counterfeit drug sales will reach US$ 75 billion globally in 2010, an increase of more than 90% from 2005.” – WHO Benefits Pharma Secure Chain tackles this issue head on, looking at national and international markets, delving into how the pharmaceutical industry regulators, customs and law enforcers are working together to reduce the risk of counterfeit medicines entering the supply chain.

Join Pharma Secure Chain for two days of discussion and debate as to the best approaches when it comes to strengthening and securing the pharmaceutical supply chain.

Why should you attend?

  • Update your knowledge of important industry legislation and regulation
  • Maximise available resources to explore new avenues for a tactical approach to counterfeit medicines
  • Network with industry experts and peers to learn how to overcome concerns you experience within the supply chain
  • Identify specific vulnerabilities that can be addressed to mitigate the risk of counterfeit medicines infiltrating your supply chain

Speakers include:

  • Michael Deats, Group Manager, Enforcement and Intelligence, MHRA
  • Jean-Marc Bobée, Chairman of the Efpia project for coding and identification of pharmaceuticals in Europe, EFPIA
  • Jim Thomson, Chair, the European Alliance for Access to Safe Medicines
  • Heinz Kobelt, Secretary General, European Association Euro-Pharmaceutical Companies
  • Rachel Hodson-Gibbons, Head of eProcurement, NHS Purchasing and Supply Agency
  • Mark Davison, VP Global Pharmaceuticals, SICPA


  • Conquer regulatory challenges by drawing lessons from the MHRA anti-counterfeiting strategy to improve security programme
  • Develop a strategic plan to protect your products through exclusive practical knowledge insights: Learn how Johnson & Johnson developed a brand protection plan for a new product launch
  • Improve your route to a secure supply chain by assessing the risk of counterfeiting, diversion or tampering of a new product
  • Combat the threat of the internet by injecting safeguards to protect product and patient safety with updates from Novartis
  • Develop a best practice layered approach against the threat of counterfeiting, manipulation and diversion by exploring a range of industry strategies and adapting them to your own needs
  • Engage in lively debate on how parallel distribution and a safe supply chain can co-exist and its impact on your company

Visit for updates on the speaker faculty, details of the conference agenda and more booking discount offers!

Call: 44 (0)207 368 9300
Fax: 44 (0)207 368 9301