LETTERS TO THE EDITOR|
Safety of imported drugs a concern
To The Daily: Your Nov. 26 editorial promoting drug re-importation completely ignored the issue of consumer safety (ďA prescription for better health: Ease restrictions on imported medsĒ). As a former associate commissioner of the FDA, I can assure you that ensuring the safety of foreign drugs is a very serious issue.
Just last year, for example, a doctor in Toronto co-signed 24,212 prescriptions over just six months. Considering this physician would have had to examine over 100 patients each day, itís hard to believe that he was doing his duty.
Also, trade in counterfeit drugs is exploding.
The Joint Terrorism Task Force reports that terrorist groups with ties to Hezbollah are importing drugs to the United States by way of Canada. The Congressional Research Service says that North Korea is now producing counterfeit drugs in order to finance its military buildup. Further, many drugs re-imported from Canada actually come from countries — such as Pakistan — with less rigorous inspection standards.
Director, Center for Medicine in the Public Interest
New York, N.Y.