Do you know where your medication has been?

Dangerous Doses
A True Story of Cops, Counterfeiters, and the Contamination of America’s Drug Supply

By Katherine Eban

1. True or False: “Pharmaceutical middlemen…buy, sell, sort, repackage and distribute 98% of the nation’s medicine.”

2. Which of the following characters have been granted a license to trade as a secondary pharmaceutical wholesaler:
A. “A convicted heroin seller who had spent years in the Florida prison system”
B. A woman who “pleaded guilty in 2000 to selling stolen medicine through her husband’s wholesale company (and) was still on probation.”
C. “A fellow on federal probation after serving time for marijuana smuggling.”
D. “The eighth grade dropout and heroin addict”
E. Small (big dollar) businessmen that feel threatened with extinction
F. All of the above

3. What methods have been recorded as having been used by secondary wholesalers to buy low and sell high:
A. Parking lot resale. Cancer and AIDS drugs purchased directly from professional patients who sold, rather than took, their medicine.
B. Theft from competitor’s warehouses
C. Theft from hospitals
D. Drug dilution and repackaging
E. The “Puerto Rican” turn, a.k.a. the U-boat diversion, in which wholesalers take advantage of large discounts to overseas buyers, including those in Puerto Rico, by establishing companies in Puerto Rico to buy drugs at a discount. Cargo planes turn around mid-flight and resell drugs to states for a far higher price.
F. All of the above

4. True or False: Kevin Fagan, the father of a teenager poisoned by a counterfeit medication, touched the heart of Laura Bush with this personal letter:
“Today, society is suffering from a moral breakdown where huge companies look only to the bottom line and not to what is the right thing to do…I ask that you, a parent as I, do whatever you can to bring forward legislation to require drug companies to document the shipping locations of prescription drugs from the point of origin to the end user…the general public.”

5. True or False: When Governor Jeb Bush was apprised of the situation, he signed the 1993 Prescription Drug Act. He told investigators (and heroes of this book), “You guys scared the hell out of me.”

6. To research this book, Katherine Eban
a. Conducted over 160 significant interviews with people involved in the problem of contaminated medicine in America.
b. Submitted sixteen Freedom of Information Requests to the Food and Drug Administration, the Florida health department, the Florida Department of Law Enforcement, and other state pharmacy boards
c. Obtained over 13,000 pages of documents
d. All of the above

7. Dangerous Doses
a. Is a fast paced account of the slow pace of the law
b. Is more rigorously documented than the trail of a prescription drug
c. Is the scariest book I’ve ever read
d. All of the above

Answers: 1. True (89) 2. F (72, 140, 82, 340, 183) 3. F. (95,99) 4. False (160) 5. True (266) 6. D 7. D

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