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While the U.S. is fortunate to have one of the safest and strongest pharmaceutical supply chains in the world, incidents like these remind us of the vulnerability of the supply chain and the need to remain vigilant to safeguard the lifesaving and life-enhancing pharmaceuticals that benefit every American.
Recognizing the severity of this growing threat as a global problem, the Institute of Medicine recently released a set of recommendations calling for, among other things, enactment of a national solution capable of enhancing the ability to trace finished pharmaceutical products throughout the vast and complex U.S. distribution chain. The time is now to embrace the IOM's call for a national solution.
In issuing its recommendation, the IOM has recognized that like any chain, the finished pharmaceutical distribution supply chain can only be as strong as its weakest link. Weak links can be caused or exacerbated by gaps that result from a patchwork of state laws rather than one single, national and uniform law that provide the same level of protection to all.
Fortunately, even prior to the issuance of the IOM report, a bipartisan group in Congress and all of the links in the domestic distribution chain have recognized the need for a national solution to strengthen the distribution of medicines and, ultimately, to protect patients.
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