APICS is the premier professional association for supply chain management.

Counterfeit Drugs a Growing Problem in the United States

by APICS Staff | N/A 2012 | 12 | 4

Counterfeit Drugs a Growing Problem in the United States

The discovery that a fake version of the cancer drug Avastin is circulating in the United States raises fears that drug counterfeiting is on the rise, the Associated Press reports. Until recently, the illegal trading of pharmaceuticals has remained more frequent in less developed countries with lax regulations. However, as more pharmaceuticals intended for sale in the United States are manufactured overseas, authorities are concerned that greater numbers of counterfeit drugs will enter the country, endangering the lives of many.

Representatives from the Federal Drug Administration announced the organization is investigating fake Avastin sold throughout the country, including at 16 locations in California, two in Texas, and one in Chicago. Tests of the drugs demonstrated they did not contain Avastin’s active ingredient. The FDA has not yet received reports of any injuries from the counterfeit Avastin.

FDA representatives also reported that the fake Avastin came from Britain and was distributed by a Tennessee company called Volunteer Distribution. They made assurances that the United States still is one of the most secure markets for pharmaceuticals in the world. But Avastin is not the only recent incidence of drug counterfeiting. Other examples include Viagra, cholesterol medicine Lipitor, and weight-loss drug Alli. 

According to a recent congressional report, more than 80 percent of the active ingredients in US pharmaceuticals are manufactured overseas, which experts say makes it easier to move counterfeit materials into the country. “With today’s transportation networks, it's no longer a stretch to move these materials from a source in Pakistan or India to the US,” says Tom Kubic, president of the trade association Pharmaceutical Security Institute.

Apple CEO Tim Cook Responds to Labor Concerns

Apple’s chief executive officer Tim Cook says that the electronics giant is doing everything it can to address concerns about the company’s labor conditions in its Chinese manufacturing plants, CNN reports. Additionally, the Fair Labor Association, an independent watchdog group, is auditing conditions at these facilities, which make the majority of Apple products, including iPhones and iPads.

“No one in our industry is doing more to improve working conditions than Apple,” Cook says. He adds that the Fair Labor Association’s work is “probably the most detailed factory audit in the history of mass manufacturing.” Further, Apple will begin recording the results of the audits and posting them on the company’s website.

In recent months, news media have reported many human rights abuses in plants run by Foxconn, one of Apple’s suppliers. Among the complaints are reports of long hours, underage workers, and a secretive culture reminiscent of the military.

Responding to the allegations, Cook says, “We think the use of underage labor is abhorrent. It’s extremely rare in our supply chain, but our top priority is to eliminate it totally ... If we find a supplier that intentionally hires underage labor, it's a firing offense.” He also says that Apple’s code of conduct requires workweeks that do not exceed 60 hours. 

The Five Hottest Logistics Careers

According to talent data firm Wanted Analytics, more than 49,000 jobs in supply chain and operations management were posted online in the last three months, a 24 percent increase from the previous year. Michael Koploy, blogging on Software Advice, examines what he considers the five fastest-growing jobs in the field and the skills they require to be successful.

Demand planning analyst. These individuals align inventory levels to product demand. The role demands quantitative analysis, so a mathematics background is useful. Experience with enterprise resources planning software is a plus, as are supply chain and operations management and lean certifications.

Procurement manager. People with this title deal with sourcing, negotiate with suppliers, and monitor supplier performance. Careful analysis and negotiation skills are desired, as are backgrounds in supply chain and operations management, statistics, marketing, and sales.

Distribution center supervisor. These are managers of warehouse and logistics personnel and ensure that distribution centers are organized and efficient. The role does not currently demand advanced certifications, but an understanding of supply chain principles helps. While the position often requires getting one's hands dirty, it's a great way to begin a career path, as executives often look for people with floor-level experience.

Supply chain consultant. These contractors work with many clients to solve problems and improve supply chain performance. Recent business, economics, engineering, and supply chain management degree-earners are great candidates for the position, which can open the door to high-level supply chain management roles or positions at independent consulting firms.

Third-party logistics (3PL) business development manager. At 3PL companies, these workers drive new business and manage customer relationships. Basic knowledge of core supply chain management concepts as well as real-world experience is important for this career. An understanding of sales or account management also is helpful.

e-News Solutions

Save the date: Events to keep your eye on

Upcoming Webinar:
Members-only APICS Extra Live: Building a Disaster-Proof Supply Chain
February 22, 2012 | 1:00-2:00 p.m. CT
Presented by:
Mohanish Makharia, member, supply chain group, Wipro Consulting Services
Gerhard Plenert, PhD, practice partner, Wipro Consulting Services
Ramanan Sambukumar, leader, distributed supply chain, Wipro Consulting Services
Attend APICS Extra Live to gain deeper insight into the January/February APICS magazine article, "Your Resilient Supply Chain." The authors will discuss how unpredictable events such as natural disasters can damage revenues, profitability, market share, and brand image, and they will demonstrate techniques that minimize the impact of disruptions.
In this APICS Extra Live, you will learn

  • the components of a resilient supply chain and how to overcome barriers to attaining one
  • strategies to prepare for supply chain disruptions and how to come out ahead
  • methods to enable resiliency, including establishing clear lines of authority and proactive planning
  • how to build risk into decision making by coupling key risk indicators with key performance indicators.

Learn more or register.

Webinars On Demand Available

APICS Extra Live: Real-World Strategies for Improving Operational Efficiency
Watch the webinar now.

APICS Extra Live: Racing Toward Operational Success with Kaizen
Watch the webinar now.

APICS Extra Live: The People Factor in Supply Chain Excellence
Watch the webinar now.

APICS Members-Only Webinar: Operations Management Résumé Benchmarking Survey Résumé Structure and Organization
Watch this webinar now.

APICS Extra Live: Advancing Your Supply Chain with Foreign-Trade Zones
Watch this webinar now.

APICS Extra Live: Merchandising for a Lean Supply Chain
Watch this webinar now.

APICS Extra Live: Keep Projects Flowing with Visual Project Management
Watch this webinar now.

APICS Members-Only Webinar: Résumé Formatting Best Practices

Watch this webinar now.

APICS Asia Supply Chain & Operations 2012 conference

The growth of manufacturing has created extraordinary opportunities in Asia as well as increasing the challenges faced by companies all along the global supply chain. APICS Asia Supply Chain & Operations 2012 will focus on operations management topics such as identifying risks, developing infrastructure, demand management and sourcing, and strategy concerns faced by companies doing business in Asia. Learn more.

Mark your calendars! It's time to start getting ready for the 2012 APICS conferences. Visit apics.org/events for information.

  • 2012 APICS Asia Supply Chain & Operations conferences
    April 2-3, 2012
    Seoul, South Korea

    April 5-6, 2012
    Shanghai, China

    Register now.
  • Best of the Best S&OP conferences, presented by APICS and IBF 
    May 10-11, 2012
    London, England 

    June 14-15, 2012
    Chicago, Illinois, USA
    Hilton Chicago
  • 2012 APICS International Conference & Expo 
    October 14-16, 2012
    Denver, Colorado, USA
    Colorado Convention Center

2012 APICS International Conference & Expo Call for Presentations

2012 APICS International Conference & Expo 
October 14-16, 2012
Denver, Colorado, USA
Deadline to submit your presentation: February 27, 2012

Operations and supply chain management professionals today face critical challenges with regards to demand alignment, risk management, supply chain integration, sustainability, and much more. As a knowledgeable industry leader, you are invited to share your expertise and strategies for success by submitting a presentation for the 2012 APICS International Conference & Expo. 

The theme for this year's conference is Elevate supply chain performance: Value creation through market alignment and integration. APICS seeks speakers who will not only examine, assess, and educate on key topics using the APICS body of knowledge, but also provide conference attendees with implementable strategies to improve performance by fine-tuning the entire supply network around a single goal. The APICS 2012 tracks are

  • Alignment to Demand
  • Case Studies in Sustainability and Risk Management
  • Foundations in Production and Inventory Management
  • Enabling Technologies and Analytics
  • Integration Strategies Across the Supply Chain
  • Optimizing Supply Chain and Operations Processes
  • Professional Advancement.

APICS 2012 key educational goals

Your success in the selection process will be determined by how well your submission provides

  • tactics to meet the challenges operations and supply chain professionals face in 2012 
  • practical education that enables attendees to acquire skills and knowledge that will improve performance
  • content that appeals to attendees with multiple learning styles and who are at different levels in their careers 
  • focused education complementary to the APICS Operations Management Body of Knowledge (OMBOK) Framework. 

Click to submit your presentation now
Submission Deadline: February 27, 2012

Purchase APICS supply chain risk and supply chain strategy folios 

Assess risk, develop your organization's supply chain strategy, and understand how you can successfully implement or grow your organization's sales and operational planning process with APICS folios.

$19.95 APICS member
$39.95 nonmember

New! APICS Supply Chain Strategy Folio: Make the Most of Supply Chain Strategy
Understand challenges and identify areas where senior management and operations management can work together to maximize the effectiveness of your supply chain strategy. Access this APICS folio to delve into critical supply chain functions and tasks that may not be effectively supporting your supply chain strategy.

New! APICS Supply Chain Risk Folio: Protect your Business with Risk Management
Mitigate and anticipate supply chain risks at your organization-from rising and falling demand to natural disasters, market uncertainty, and varying levels of trust among supply chain partners. Purchase this APICS folio to identify tools to deal with risk at your organization.

Don't forget to access
APICS S&OP Folio: How to Be an S&OP Champion
Predicting the future generally is thought impossible; yet, S&OP users seek to do just that by strategically directing businesses to achieve competitive advantage. Purchase this APICS folio to understand how you can enable your organization's bottom-line effectiveness with S&OP.

Access New APICS career development resources
Introducing APICS career packs. Use APICS career packs to understand your career path and next steps, evaluate candidate qualifications, or establish consistency across your organization's hiring.
Free! APICS member
$29.95 nonmember
Individuals seeking to advance in one of the career pack job title areas can evaluate their knowledge and skills, plan their next steps, and identify areas for improvement and growth.
Hiring managers seeking qualified candidates can identify specific knowledge, skills, and experience required when evaluating prospective employees and building job descriptions.
Organizations interested in developing their workforce can create consistency and establish required competencies for individuals in each of the career pack job title areas.
APICS career packs:

For each job title, APICS career packs compile essential information to help you understand the job role, including

  • career path information
  • core competencies required of qualified candidates
  • job descriptions and keywords
  • how to use job titles and descriptions.

Download the APICS members-only report 2011 S&OP Practices and Challenges and purchase the APICS Folio: How to Be an S&OP Champion 
Predicting the future generally is thought impossible; yet, S&OP users seek to do just that by strategically directing businesses to achieve competitive advantage, and-more and more-are expected to do so to enable their employers' bottom line profitability.

Supply chain professionals: Take the APICS CSCP Learning System Free Demo today
By earning the APICS Certified Supply Chain Professional (CSCP) designation, you will demonstrate significant commitment to your profession and your career, distinguish yourself as an industry expert, and excel with your newly acquired specialized knowledge.


Download the APICS Exam Pass Rate Report
The report details the 2010 average pass rates for all APICS CSCP and CPIM exam modules taken internationally and in North America. This valuable report helps you understand how your colleagues performed on APICS certification exams and provides information on

  • how the pass rates are monitored
  • how the cut score is determined
  • how the courseware aligns to the exams.

Click to download the report.

Take the APICS CSCP Learning System Free Demo to get started on your way to earning the APICS CSCP designation.

APICS CPIM exam study options

APICS offers a variety of study options to help candidates prepare for the APICS Certified in Production and Inventory Management (CPIM) exams and enables them to choose the option that matches their preferred learning method.

Instructor-led courses

For students who learn best in a classroom-based environment, there are instructor-led courses.

Find courses at your local APICS chapter or find an APICS partner outside North America to find courses in your area.

Online certification review courses

Online courses are ideal for professionals who enjoy taking a structured class, but need more flexibility.

Other APICS self-study options

APICS offers a wide variety of tools for candidates interested in studying on their own, including the

  • APICS CPIM Exam Content Manual
  • APICS CPIM practice questions
  • APICS CPIM study notes.
See a list of self-study tools.

All comments will be published pending approval. Read the APICS Comment Policy.


  1. RadEditor - HTML WYSIWYG Editor. MS Word-like content editing experience thanks to a rich set of formatting tools, dropdowns, dialogs, system modules and built-in spell-check.
    RadEditor's components - toolbar, content area, modes and modules
    Toolbar's wrapper 
    Content area wrapper
    RadEditor's bottom area: Design, Html and Preview modes, Statistics module and resize handle.
    It contains RadEditor's Modes/views (HTML, Design and Preview), Statistics and Resizer
    Editor Mode buttonsStatistics moduleEditor resizer
    RadEditor's Modules - special tools used to provide extra information such as Tag Inspector, Real Time HTML Viewer, Tag Properties and other.