Brexit and the Falsified Medicines Directive

In order to help patients avoid being exposed to falsified medicines, the European Commission developed a series of measures to support patients in identifying licenced suppliers of pharmaceutical medicines, and suppliers to identify whether an end-user pack of medicines was genuine. The measures outlined in the Falsified Medicines Directive (2011/62/EU) have been applied across the European Union (EU), with […]

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    Combating Falsified Medicines in Africa through Digital Artefacts

Combating Falsified Medicines in Africa through Digital Artefacts

Falsified medicines are again in the news, this time in a piece for the BBC News’ websites business section. In his article, Matthew Wall looks at the problem of combating falsified, counterfeit and substandard anti-malarial medicines in Africa through the use of alternative technologies for tracking the identity of the medicines’ original pack – the original pack being the […]

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    Hub and Spoke Dispensing: Privacy and Sociotechnical Rigidity

Hub and Spoke Dispensing: Privacy and Sociotechnical Rigidity

In a previous post, we noted how a hub and spoke model for community pharmacy had been promoted on the basis of a limited safety case. The hub and spoke model that was described was one in which items would be assembled at a hub site that would serve a number of dispensing sites, such as community pharmacies. Although […]

Falsified medicines: dilution fraud in Romania

We heard last week of the major scandal in Romania:
a multimillion-euro medical fraud scandal – in which a big pharmaceutical company allegedly watered down disinfectants for use on hospital wards for years.

[…] Lab analyses […] found that the active substances had been watered down, in some cases by a factor of 10, leaving them as weak as dishwater.

[…] A […]

Nature reviews research into cybercrime

For all the talk of hard mechanical and technical defences, all human-machine systems are reliant on their soft procedural defences to maintain safety and security. This insight has some traction amongst the safety science community and has now also taken hold in the security community as a recent review by M. Mitchell Waldrop for Nature illustrates.

Cybercrime has become a […]

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    Increasing seizures of counterfeit Viagra in the United Kingdom

Increasing seizures of counterfeit Viagra in the United Kingdom

The BBC has placed on its website a report on the rise in seizures of counterfeit versions of Pfizer’s branded version of sildenafil, Viagra. It is claimed in the report that young people, are experimenting with the drug, and that they are looking to illicit sources for the drug.

Unfortunately, the report does not go into detail about the claims […]

Smartphone-connected gadget to tell fake medicines

LinkSquare is a scanning device – a spectrometer – that compares reflected light spectrum from a pill to a reference scan recorded in a database.
Stratio has received some funding from the National Science Foundation and says it plans to start selling later this year for $199, initially through a crowdfunding campaign that is expected to start in June. The […]

Being a 10 mg donepezil drug, or not

A patient who received a labeled dose of 10 mg of donepezil per day for 3 months that was purchased from Canada could have been receiving only 6.3 mg per day..
Wang, Chong-Zhi; Du, Guang-Jian; Zhen, Zhong; Calway, Tyler; Yuan, Chun-Su(2011) Significant Dose Differences in Donepezil Purchased From the United States and Canada
Annals of Internal Medicine
Issue: Volume 155(4), 16 August 2011, pp […]

The Contrasting Medicines Regulatory Environments of China and the Western World

For purposes of anticounterfeiting and pharmacovigilance, “in our world of economic unions and free trade agreements, a country’s drug regulations are only as good as its weakest import partner”.


Peter J. Harris and Ian C. Shaw (2015) The Contrasting Medicines Regulatory Environments of China and the Western World, Pharmaceutical Medicine, First online: 16 October 2015 :


Note: the reference list […]

Serialisation of Individual Pills to Defeat Counterfeiters

At present, proposals to prevent falsified medicines entering supply networks has focussed on increasingly sophisticated packaging including tamper evident seals, electronic recording of unique serialised package identities, or the use of assays in the sampling of purported therapeutic drugs. An alternative solution, being developed by Dr Phil Harrison and colleagues, is to use sets of four and six machine-actuated pins to add micro-indentation codes on […]