Johnson & Johnson is telling all its U.S. and Puerto Rican wholesalers and distributors that they won't be doing business with J&J unless they agree in writing not to purchase, market, sell or distribute any J&J pharmaceutical or medical device from any source other than the company. The policy, aimed at stanching "a significant increase in counterfeit prescription medications," also gives J&J the right to audit the wholesalers and distributors, a company spokesman said. Wholesalers and distributors have until Jan. 19 to sign the agreement, and beginning Jan. 26, J&J will post the names of those participating on its Web site. The company sent 210,000 letters to hospitals and other providers alerting them to the new policy and advising them that they have a responsibility to make sure they purchase supplies only from compliant companies. "We as a company are deeply concerned (about) what we see as a disturbing trend and the threat it poses to the public health," said Mark Wolfe, a J&J spokesman. "We feel everyone in the healthcare supply chain has to work together to insure patient safety by protecting the supply chain from the potential entry of counterfeit drugs." -- by Cinda Becker
J&J alters distribution rules to block counterfeits
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