E-Drug: Repackaging & sale of expired drugs in Indonesia
Dear fellow E-Druggers
You might be interested in this article that I saw posted on
the US listserve PharmWaste (a forum for national dialogue on the
issue of pharmaceuticals and personal care products in the
environment, but also deals with how to correctly manage disposal of
International health consultant
Depok Police Search for Leader of Expired Drug Reselling Ring
Zaky Pawas | January 28, 2011
[Please fix link if broken in e-mail; article copied as fair use - DB]
Depok Police are investigating the alleged sale of expired
prescription and over-the-counter drugs they believe were gleaned
from a waste processing center in Cilengsi, Bogor.
Depok District Police chief Sr. Comr. Ferry Abraham said police were
looking for an employee at the waste processing center, identified as
N., whom they believed was collecting and reselling the expired drugs.
"From the admission of one of the suspects that we have already
arrested, he had obtained the medicine from someone who has N. as his
initial. We are still looking for this N.," Ferry said.
Depok Police arrested two men, identified as A.S and D.S., on
Saturday on suspicion of selling expired drugs in Jatinegara, East
Jakarta. Police said the medications were repackaged and in some
cases augmented with other chemicals and substances.
Among the reprocessed drugs confiscated from the two men were
anti-fever syrups; various antibiotics, including ciprofloxacin and
co-amoxiliclav; multivitamins; and intravenous drugs used to treat
diabetes and ulcers.
Ferry said police suspected N. of supplying the two men and also
collecting expired medicines from other waste processing centers.
"It could also be that he is not only selling the medicines in
Jakarta but also in other regions," he said.
Ferry said the waste processing center N. worked at regularly
received large shipments of expired medications from a number of
pharmacies in Bandung and Bogor.
Instead of destroying the drugs, Ferry said, N. would instead resell them.
"However, not all of the medicines are kept. Usually he only keeps
those general medicines that can be easily sold in the marketplace."
N. would then give the drugs to other parties for repackaging and
reprocessing, Ferry said. Some of the medications would simply be
re-stamped with valid expiration dates. The refurbished medicines
would then be distributed in large batches at prices drastically
lower than the original retail cost.
Ferry said police were trying to uncover the distributors of the
repackaged black market drugs so they could trace and seize the
illicit products before any more were sold.
He added that the two suspects in custody had told police that the
drugs were only sold to smaller stalls, and never to pharmacies or
Ferry blamed much of the problem of illegally resold drugs on lax
supervision of the disposal process. He said the Food and Drug
Monitoring Agency, or BPPOM, should bear the responsibility for
overseeing the destruction of the drugs.
He said he planned to coordinate with the BPPOM to compel the agency
to step up its supervision and monitoring efforts regarding the
disposal of unused drugs.