May 2007

In this Issue: Healthcare Feature | Larry Lucas | Partner Spotlight | Calendar | Welcome New Partners | In the News | Interesting Information


Feature Articles

Call for articles No Shortcuts to Health and Safety: The Threat of Counterfeit Drugs ...

By Bryan A. Liang, MD, PhD
(Originally published in the San Diego County Bar Association's publication, San Diego Lawyer Magazine)

Counterfeit medications have been identified in virtually every country in this hemisphere and around the world. Importantly for San Diego, the FDA confirmed that a number of drugs purchased by U.S. citizens in Mexico were counterfeit, and issued a warning that the influx of fake medicines into the United States represented a means by which terrorists could attack Americans.

Read more to learn about the threat of counterfeit drugs...


Larry Lucas Column

Help for Low-Income Families Without Medical Insurance

As we move toward another race for the U.S. presidency, there is no more pressing domestic issue on the agenda than access to quality health care. From the White House to the state house – likely, even in your house – everyone is talking about how we can help more Americans get the health care they need. Read more...

Member Spotlight

National Cervical Cancer Coalition


A grassroots nonprofit organization dedicated to serving women with, or at risk for, cervical cancer and human pavillomavirus (HPV).

The National Cervical Cancer Coalition (NCCC) is a growing coalition of women and family members/caregivers battling cervical cancer, women's groups, health care providers, physicians, and researchers. They are joined by a common goal to educate the public about cervical cancer prevention and outreach, new screening and treatment options, cervical cancer screening and follow-up programs, HPV, the limitations of the Pap smear and its overwhelming success as a screening tool for clinicians.

Web site


"Counterfeit Drugs: Issues, Explanations, and Avoidance Tools"

The California Partnership for Access to Treatment invites you to a complimentary luncheon seminar on the impact of counterfeit prescription drugs in California and our nation.

Featuring Guest Speaker:

Bryan A. Liang, Professor of Law
Executive Director, Institute of Health Law Studies
Co-Director & Adjunct Associate Professor of Anesthesiology,
San Diego Center for Patient Safety, University of California,
San Diego School of Medicine

Dr. Liang will address the major issues surrounding counterfeit drugs, including:

  • Extent to which we use pharmaceuticals in the US
  • Scope of the problem here and around the world
  • Kinds of harm associated with counterfeits
  • Key reasons why the problem is so extensive
  • Tools to protect ourselves against counterfeits

Thursday, May 10th
Noon to 2pm

The Palm Restaurant
110 S. Flower Street,
Los Angeles, CA 90015

Friday, May 11th
Noon to 2pm

Doubletree Hotel San Diego Mission Valley (Brickstones Room)
7450 Hazard Center Drive
San Diego, CA 92108

To RSVP, please contact Andrea Svoboda at (323) 466-3445 x 240
or e-mail:

Be sure to check out the CPAT Calendar of Events to find out about upcoming partner conferences, seminars, fundraisers, and other activities in your area. If you would like your event listed, please contact Dorothy at


Welcome New Members!
  • African American 5 a Day Program
  • Alliance for Better Medicine
  • Bel Air Insurance Services
  • Blue Cross of California - Southern California Region
  • California Black Health Network
  • California/Nevada Community Action Partnership
  • The Campaign for College Opportunity
  • El Rescate
  • Filipino American Service Group Inc
  • Latino Diabetes Association
  • The Meeting Place, Inc.
  • Mental Health Association in California
  • NAACP, San Francisco
  • North County African American Health Coalition
  • Polenzani Benefits & Insurance Services, Inc.
  • San Fernando Valley Black Chamber of Commerce
  • St. Barnabas Senior Center
  • Turning Point Community Programs

In the News

Abuse of prescription drugs surges across globe
February 28, 2007
By the Associated Press

Abuse of prescription drugs is about to exceed the use of illicit street narcotics worldwide, and the shift has spawned a lethal new trade in counterfeit painkillers, sedatives and other medicines potent enough to kill, a global watchdog warned. Click for full article.

Is your medicine dangerous to your health?
Parade Magazine
February 18, 2007
By Tom Zoellner

Some call it the most perfect crime in medicine: Buy some empty gelatin capsules, fill them with worthless powder, print up a phony label and sell them to a drug wholesaler who has no scruples or just chooses to look the other way. Click here for full article.

New survey finds counterfeit products cost global economy billions
Voice of America
February 8, 2007
By Lisa Schlein

Buying a fake Gucci bag or a $25 Rolex watch won't kill anyone. But, buying counterfeit medicine can cause serious disability and even death as Robert Mallett, senior vice president of the pharmaceutical firm Pfizer explains. Click here for full article.

New technique can identify counterfeit drugs
January 30, 2007

A new method of verifying the ingredients of a pharmaceutical product without opening the package is more accurate than the conventional methods of analysis, scientists in the UK report in a new study. Click here for full article.

Interesting Information


  • Food and Drug Administration's counterfeit drug investigations have more than quadrupled since the late 1990s.
  • The Pharmaceutical Security Institute, a not-for-profit public health group, estimates that $200 million in prescriptions in 2003 (latest statistics) were counterfeit or tainted -- a seven-fold increase over the previous year.
  • And the World Health Organization estimates that counterfeit drugs are now a $32 billion-a-year business.
  • Counterfeit drugs previously centered around lifestyle drugs, such as Viagra, but they have spread to be common for in medicines for cancer, cholesterol and the flu and contraceptives.

From the Washington Post "Raising the Alarm on the Rise of Counterfeit Drugs." April 5, 2005. Available at:


CA Access News welcomes contributions from our partners. Please contact us if you have suggestions for future events and stories by calling CPAT at (916) 658-0144, Attn: Janet.


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Sacramento, CA 95814

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