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Larissa Doucette

Removing pharmacies’ ability to re-sell drug products to wholesalers would help to prevent medications from being leaked into the gray market, as highlighted in a recent Drug Topicsarticle. NABP Executive Director/Secretary Carmen A. Catizone, MS, RPh, DPh, explained that some pharmacies choosing to resell drugs to wholesalers may not necessarily be violating the law, rather they are violating the intent of the law, making the situation a moral and ethical issue. Catizone told Drug Topics, “There are provisions in state laws in which pharmacies can wholesale up to 5% of their product. The intent was that, if you have a situation where a pharmacy runs short on a product, they can buy it from another pharmacy or wholesaler for that patient. They are violating the intent of those laws, morally and ethically.” As noted in the article, the House Committee on Oversight and Government Reform released a report on gray market wholesaler activities and drug shortages following a Congressional investigation of the issue. In a press release, the committee’s ranking member, United States Representative Elijah Cummings noted that federal legislation to address the issue was introduced on May 22, 2012. The bill, Gray Market Drug Reform and Transparency Act of 2012 (HR 5853), “includes several provisions to address weaknesses in the drug supply chain, deter price gouging, and improve drug safety and efficacy.” The bill has been referred to the House Subcommittee on Health.