Prashant Yadav, PhD, Director, Health Care Research Initiative, University of Michigan, discusses the IOM report he helped author that investigated the extent of the problem of counterfeit and substandard drugs. The FDA commissioned the report in the wake of high profile problems, such as counterfeit Avastin and the meningitis outbreak caused by substandard drugs.
Since 80% of the active ingredients of medicinal drugs consumed by Americans come from Chine, India, and other countries, the supply chain is complex. He explains that no adequate tracking system exists for all of the components of the drug, from start to completion to the store shelves. In fact, the tracking of FedEx or UPS packages is far more sophisticated than the tracking of drugs.