FFF Enterprises Urges New Pharmaceutical Supply Channel Standard

October 15, 2003 Media Release

California healthcare firm announces pharmaceutical distribution industry pledge to battle counterfeit drugs and protect patient safety.

TEMECULA, Calif. - FFF Enterprises Inc., a Temecula-Calif.-based healthcare corporation, is asking its strategic partners and customers to commit to the company's new pharmaceutical supply channel pledge, intended to set the highest pharmaceutical distribution industry standard for protecting patient safety.

FFF, which specializes in the distribution of drugs made from human plasma, has for 10 years been promoting a well-defined, responsible distribution channel that protects drugs from market practices that can put the safety of prescription drugs at risk, making them vulnerable to counterfeiting and tampering. The company's pledge establishes a new standard for patient safety by asking drug manufacturers and customers to commit to keeping drugs in a safe and responsibly managed supply channel.

“What our industry refers to as a 'gray market' for prescription drugs may not have the bad reputation of a black market, but it should,” said FFF President and CEO Patrick M. Schmidt, “In the gray market, no one is responsible for tracking drug lot numbers, maintaining manufacturer's shipping standards, or protecting patient safety. So, when pharmaceuticals are diverted into the gray market, these drugs just cannot be considered safe. Recent cases of drug recalls resulting from tampering and counterfeiting underscore this.”

According to Schmidt, prescription drugs can be diverted into the gray market anywhere along the distribution channel: when wholesalers and distributors re-sell product back and forth to each other; when manufacturers who want to move inventory quickly at the end of a quarter will sell to anyone who can pay; and when hospitals and physician offices re-sell over-stocked drugs back into the marketplace.

FFF’s pledge asks the signer to honor a “Responsible Distribution Channel” that restricts the flow of drugs from the manufacturer to a sole responsible distributor to the customer, which is most often a hospital pharmacy or physician’s office.

“The new Food and Drug Administration task force on counterfeiting is currently exploring a lot of expensive high-tech solutions,” Schmidt explained, “but our solution is inexpensive and low-tech - and it tackles the source problem, not a symptom. Counterfeiters will always find a way to get around high-tech product safety hurdles, but if we stop the flow of drugs into the gray market, then we stop the flow of drugs into these criminals' hands. And, if the industry honors our 'Channel Integrity Pledge,' then patient safety will improve,“ Schmidt concluded.

The FFF Enterprises Channel Integrity Pledge
Because FFF's Responsible Distribution Channel provides a secure chain of custody that ensures biopharmaceutical products move only from the manufacturer through a single, ethical distributor to the customer, with no gray in between;

Because FFF's Responsible Distribution Channel protects the efficacy, integrity and safety of biopharmaceuticals and the health and well-being of patients;

And, because FFF's Responsible Distribution Channel promotes product availability, safety and cost containment;

We therefore pledge to honor FFF's Responsible Distribution Channel, the product safety it ensures, and the primary benefit that Channel Integrity provides: improved patient care.