Independent | Innovative | Inspiring

CONTACT MEDIA RELATIONS

 

California Western -- Institute for Health Law Studies Investigates Pharmaceutical Crime

Institute of Health Law Studies Investigates Pharmaceutical Crime at Sixth Annual San Diego Health Policy Conference
California Western School of Law and UC San Diego present conference on investigating and prosecuting drug diversion and counterfeiting

SAN DIEGO, March 25, 2010 - On March 26, the Institute of Health Law Studies at California Western School of Law and the San Diego Center for Patient Safety at the UC San Diego School of Medicine will present Pharmaceutical Crime: Investigating and Prosecuting Drug Diversion and Counterfeiting, a day-long conference exploring two prevalent types of pharmaceutical crime. 

Pharmaceutical diversion (using prescription drugs for recreational purposes) and counterfeiting are growing problems in the U.S.

Last year, $186 million dollars in stolen pharmaceuticals ended up on the streets and in the suburbs for recreational use, double what was reported in the previous year. In 2010, there has already been $110 million in stolen pharmaceuticals reported.

Earlier this month, $75 million worth of pharmaceuticals was stolen from a warehouse in Connecticut. The drugs stolen were not the lifestyle drugs often targeted in this type of crime. Instead, thieves made off with life-saving pharmaceuticals like antidepressants, antipsychotics, cancer drugs, and blood thinning drugs.

Professor Bryan A. Liang, director of the Institute of Health Law Studies

"This is not a theoretical issue," says Professor Bryan A. Liang, director of the Institute of Health Law Studies. "Deterrence must be put into place to at least stem the tide of diversion and counterfeiting. We are particularly at risk being so close to Mexico where, according to the World Health Organization, up to 40 percent of the drugs are fake or substandard."

Goals for Pharmaceutical Crime Conference
Given the scale and depth of pharmaceutical crime in the U.S., Pharmaceutical Crime: Investigating and Prosecuting Drug Diversion and Counterfeiting will address pertinent issues to deterring the prevalence of the crimes:

  • Understanding the scope of pharmaceutical diversion and counterfeiting
  • Articulating risk factors associated with drug delivery supply chains
  • Identifying patient care risks associated with counterfeit and diverted drugs
  • Understanding how health care providers may participate in patient protection against diverted and counterfeit drugs

"Health care providers, lawyers, and policymakers must understand each others' perspectives and abilities to address the concerns and outcomes of fake and diverted drugs," says Liang. "Challenging social issues do not give us the luxury of confining ourselves to a specific discipline. We need for all parties to join together, communicate, and act to protect patients and prosecute criminals, so that our families and loved ones never have to risk their lives on a suspect medicine." 

Exploring Emerging Trends in Health and Law
Since 2005, real-world programs and institutes at California Western School of Law and UC San Diego have collaborated to present the annual San Diego Health Policy Conference. As the health care and legal landscape evolves, creative problem solving is imperative to providing legal and medical professionals with the knowledge, skills, and perspective to address social challenges. 

In the past, the San Diego Health Policy Conference has explored a variety of emerging health and law trends, such as:

  • Terrorism, international crime and medicine security
  • International drug importation
  • Safety issues and biologic drugs
  • Legal and medical issues in emergencies and disasters
  • Issues in biological warfare and pandemic response 

Sixth Annual San Diego Health Policy Conference
Pharmaceutical Crime: Investigating and Prosecuting Drug Diversion and Counterfeiting will be held on Friday, March 26, 2010, from 7:30 a.m. to 3:30 p.m. at the Hilton Harbor Island in San Diego. 

Speakers will include a diversity of law enforcement, legal, and medical experts from across the country.