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Information on Prescription Counterfeiting


How do you know if you have purchased a counterfeit product?

  • It is hard to determine a counterfeit product and consumers may not be able to distinguish a counterfeit product from an authentic one.
  • Consumers may notice a difference in taste, consistency, or appearance of products or the counterfeit drug may not provide the health benefit a consumer needs.
  • If you obtained the drug from your pharmacy in the original manufacturer's packaging container, make sure to look at the label. It should be clean, and all print should be clearly legible, including the batch number and expiration date.
  • You may also ask your pharmacy where they purchased the drug. If your pharmacy is committed to securing the safety of its patients, they should only purchase JOM products from one of JOM's AUTHORIZED DISTRIBUTORS.

What are the dangers of counterfeit products?

  • Not only is counterfeiting illegal, it can also be extremely harmful or detrimental to patient health. Consumers may not get the benefit they need from the medication or it could negatively interact with other medications they are taking.
  • Counterfeit products could be manufactured without appropriate controls to ensure safety and efficacy and can contain dangerous contaminants.
  • Consumers should be cautious not to purchase drugs from illegitimate websites that offer products at highly discounted prices. When in doubt call the product customer information number to ensure that the distributor in question is authorized to sell that product.

What is prescription drug counterfeiting and how does it affect us?

  • Pharmaceutical drug counterfeiting occurs in many forms. Illegal practices may include unauthorized manufacturing in other countries to authentic drugs being taken out of the normal distribution channel and being mishandled thereby degrading their efficacy or re-packaging/re-labeling lower strength drugs into higher strength packaging, among other things.
  • The Internet allows counterfeiters access to consumers and markets to sell the counterfeited drugs.
  • Unfortunately, the drug distribution system has not been regulated enough to encourage counterfeiters to stop.
  • Pharmaceutical Drug Counterfeiting has caused distrust in medications and is putting patients at risk.

What is Johnson & Johnson doing to fight the prescription drug counterfeiting problem?

Everyone directly involved in the pharmaceutical supply chain-wholesalers, distributors, pharmacies and healthcare providers-must work together to ensure patient safety by protecting the supply chain from the potential entry of counterfeit drugs. JOM is implementing a brand security program that includes the application of state-of-the-art anti-counterfeiting technologies to the packaging of our major products. We will continue to expand and modify these features.

In addition, we are working with our wholesaler and distributor partners to close the potential gaps in the supply chain that could allow for the entry of counterfeit products into the marketplace. JOM has reached out to these direct customers, who have agreed not to purchase, market, sell, or distribute any pharmaceutical or biopharmaceutical products of the JOM affiliate companies, for whom they are listed as authorized distributors that have been obtained from any source other than JOM.

If your pharmacy is not obtaining JOM affiliate products from JOM or one of its authorized distributors, it may be putting patients at risk.

In the fall of 2006, JOM sent letters to over 97,000 pharmacies alerting of the risks associated with pharmaceutical drug counterfitting and reminding them to only purchase products from authorized distributors.

Lastly, JOM is investing today to develop solutions that will help the pharmaceutical supply chain trace where a pharmaceutical drug product has been. The state of California, in SB 1476, section 4034, has encouraged the industry to come up with a solution that enables the generation of "a pedigree created and maintained in an interoperable electronic system, ensuring compatibiltiy through all stages of distribution." The pedigree will track a drug at the smallest package or immediate container." California is encouraging the industry to find a solution by 2009. JOM is diligently working and exploring alternatives in order to meet this challenge.

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