Military taps lab to check generic drugs for safety, quality

The Defense Department has entered into an agreement with Valisure, an independent laboratory company, to advance a pharmaceutical quality risk assessment pilot study of generic drugs, according to an Aug. 8 news release.

The study seeks to collect objective drug quality data through independent sourcing and testing "for metrics that are expected to differentiate the quality of available manufacturers of a given list of drugs," the release states.  

The agreement between Valisure and the department — a major purchaser of drugs — comes amid growing concerns about the quality of generic medications. The White House has developed a task force to determine if certain testing could be expanded to address quality issues in this market sector as more generic drugs are manufactured overseas.

"We first described this drug quality scoring model as part of our Senate Finance Committee testimony in 2020 and are very excited to put it into practice with the Department of Defense,"  David Light, CEO of Valisure said in a statement. "Beyond the importance this holds for national security, the Department of Defense is also a large health system with millions of patients. Together with private healthcare leaders like Kaiser Permanente that are already utilizing independent testing programs for generic drugs, this DoD initiative can be a powerful model for improving the generic drug market."

The military initially reported being in talks with Valisure about this specific research in early June. Now, testing will be done via a multistep process that will test independent chemical properties in samples of drug products from suppliers to the Defense Department and then giving a score to each supplier based on the respective National Drug Codes of each.

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