Report: Tracking system needed to fight fake drugs

by Lauran Neergaard

(AP)—A new report calls for a national drug tracking system to fight the growing problem of fake drugs.

The Institute of Medicine says phony or substandard drugs are an increasing international threat, and one that is affecting the U.S. as well.

Just last week, the warned doctors—for the third time in about a year—that it discovered a counterfeit batch of the cancer drug Avastin, one that lacks the real tumor-killing ingredient.

Wednesday's report says mandatory drug tracking would offer the same kind of reliability for medications that the U.S. court system's chain-of-custody requirements do for evidence used in trials. It would allow verification that a drug and the ingredients used to make it are authentic at every step.

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