The Food and Drug Administration (FDA) issued a rule this week that allows the agency to destroy poor-quality or fake drugs valued at $2,500 or less that are refused admission into the United States. Until now, only counterfeit or poor quality food or medical devices could be destroyed, the Washington Examiner reports.
The FDA received the authority to destroy fake or low-quality drug imports under the 2012 Food Drug and Safety Innovation act, the article notes. Before the new rule was issued, customs officials who found a shipment of counterfeit drugs would send it back to the country of origin. Experts say counterfeiters simply repackage the drugs and ship them off again.
“With nearly 40 percent of finished drugs being imported, and nearly 80 percent of active ingredients coming from overseas sources, protecting the global drug supply chain and making sure that patients have access to the drugs they need is a priority for FDA,” the agency said on its website.