Industry bickers over how to catch fake drugs

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WASHINGTON, D.C. (AP) — The news this week that a fake version of the cancer medicine Avastin has made its way into the United States highlights a longtime concern: There are few safegaurds to make sure fake drugs can be spotted before they make it to your doctor’s office.

For more than a decade, public safety advocates have called for a tracking system that would enable everyone from manufacturers to wholesalers to doctors to verify the authenticity of prescription drugs. But bickering between those parties over the cost and scope have stalled the effort.

The FDA is expected to issue a proposal for the technology behind a tracing system later this year. But in the meantime the U.S. system continues to be vulnerable to counterfeits.