Originally published in the February 2012 NABP Newsletter.
The Partnership for Safe Medicines (PSM) presented NABP with the inaugural Guardian award, recognizing the Association’s efforts in raising awareness of and combating unlicensed online pharmacies. The award was presented at the PSM Interchange, October 27, 2011, an annual conference bringing together investigators, regulators, patient advocates, counterfeit drug victims, and law enforcement to address issues related to fighting counterfeit drugs.
Over 120 stakeholders participated in the 2011 PSM Interchange “to discuss ways to stem the rising tide of counterfeit and unsafe medicines not only in the United States, but around the globe,” as noted in a PSM press release. Speakers included United States Under Secretary of State Robert D. Hormats, who stressed the importance of collaboration among US government agencies, international governments, and private sector and stakeholder groups, in making progress in the fight against counterfeit and substandard medicines. Dr Marv Shepherd, president of PSM and director of the Center for Pharmacoeconomic Studies at the University of Texas-Austin, stated that the goal of the Interchange conference was to “send a message of empowerment – empowering consumers and medical professionals to identify and avoid unsafe medicines, empowering lawmakers and regulators to develop policies to keep our drug supply safe, and empowering global stakeholders to join together to develop a unified, collaborative effort to fight the growing counterfeit drug risk.” Other PSM Interchange speakers included Senator Michael Bennet (D-CO), Congressman Jim Matheson (D-UT), Deputy Director of Immigration and Customs Enforcement Kumar C. Kibble, Maryland Attorney General Douglas Gansler, and representatives from Food and Drug Administration, the White House Office of the US Intellectual Property Enforcement Coordinator, and a variety of domestic and international patient and health advocacy organizations.
The Guardian will be an annual award presented by PSM to an individual or organization that has demonstrated outstanding leadership in the fight to stop counterfeit medicines.