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Global Public Health the Focus of Scientific Conference
Date:9/28/2009

USP's Annual Scientific Meeting Addresses Crucial Issues of Food and Drug Safety

Rockville, Md. (Vocus) September 29, 2009 -- Counterfeit and adulterated food and drugs and advances in measurement science used to detect them emerged as key themes of the Annual Scientific Meeting (ASM) hosted by the U.S. Pharmacopeial (USP) Convention. Held in Toronto, Canada, more than 300 people from 26 countries attended, making this a truly multinational event. Experts from all countries need to grapple with the worldwide proliferation of fakes - notably manifest in drugs sold over the internet - and presentations highlighted the many efforts being made to combat the problem.

The meeting was opened by speakers from Health Canada who described the extensive activities of the Health Products and Food Branch to protect Canadian public health. Canada's Institute for Measurement Standards and others discussed measurement science as a key tool for helping to ensure the quality of food and drugs. The international manufacturing community was well represented, closely allying with compendial and regulatory organizations in the common goal of assuring consumers that the medicines they take and the foods they eat are of good quality.

Means to counter the serious and growing counterfeit problem reviewed at the ASM included sophisticated quality measurement techniques and technologies; multinational investigative and research efforts, which are increasingly being better coordinated; and attempts to educate and involve consumers and patients in vigilance and reporting. While many Americans are unaware of counterfeit drugs or view them as a problem of the developing world, this is not the case. Food and drug ingredients are shipped and sold worldwide from every continent except Antarctica. An
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