FDA Urges Industry to Prevent Cargo Thefts

WASHINGTON, April 28 (UPI) — The U.S. Food and Drug Administration sent a letter to medical firms Wednesday, expressing concern about cargo and warehouse thefts of FDA-regulated products.

FDA Acting Assistant Commissioner for Regulatory Affairs Michael Chappell said the stolen products have included prescription and over-the counter medicines, medical devices, vaccines and infant formula.

In the letter Chappell asked the industry to review and strengthen security practices.

“There have been several cases where patients experienced adverse reactions from stolen drugs, reactions that were most likely due to improper storage and handling,” Chappell wrote. “We do not want to see this increase in thefts continue.”

He said such crimes threaten public health because products that leave the legitimate supply chain pose potential safety risks to consumers.

“Firms engaged in providing medical products and infant formula to the public have a fundamental responsibility to continuously review their warehouse physical security and security practices and procedures for transporting products to ensure that measures are in place to minimize the risk of warehouse and cargo theft,” Chappell said. “These measures are important throughout the supply chain — starting from the point of manufacturing, continuing through the distribution of the product and to the retail outlet or other point where the product will be sold.”

He said the medical products companies need to be a step ahead of thieves in securing warehouses and product transport.

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