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'Deadly Cost of Fake Drugs' is Topic of Next BTAC Lunch Meeting

Richard Widup, Senior Director of Security Operations for Purdue Pharma will present a briefing from the front in the war on counterfeit pharmaceuticals

07 February 2008

New York, NY — The Business Threat Awareness Council will hold a lunch meeting with special guest speaker, Richard Widup on Tuesday 19 February 2008 at NOON in midtown Manhattan.

This special event is hosted by The ARISING Group.

Mr. Widup, Senior Director of Security Operations for Purdue Pharma and a former federal agent in the Office of Criminal Investigations at the FDA, will speak about the Threat to Public Health from the Counterfeiting and Diversion of Pharmaceuticals.

There is no charge for this event but limited space will require an RSVP to:

During his extensive career in law enforcement and security, Richard Widup has conducted several investigations involving the counterfeit drug world. Widup has seen firsthand the damage done by ineffective or tainted compounds packaged to look like the real thing.

"It's bad enough when a 'medicine' doesn't make you better," Widup said, "but in some cases these fakes can make you sicker or –depending on the ingredients- even kill."

At Purdue Mr. Widup is responsible for product integrity and security operations matters, including investigations involving the counterfeiting, tampering and diversion of products.

Mr. Widup will be joined by Shawn Lewis, the founder and managing director of DropADime International. Mr. Lewis, also a member of the Business Threat Awareness Council's steering committee, has conducted undercover investigations into the trafficking and sale of counterfeit apparel for over a decade.

"We are seeing more links between counterfeiting and terrorism" Lewis tells. "Terrorists need untraceable funds, and trafficking counterfeits is a lucrative cash business. Stopping counterfeiters is good policy for national security" he added.

Widup and Lewis will also touch upon the risk companies face from loss of brand integrity and fending off lawsuits from damages caused by inferior bogus products.


Richard Widup is the Senior Director, Security Operations for Purdue Pharma L.P. Before joining Purdue, Richard was the Director, Americas Region for Pfizer Global Security. At Pfizer he had responsibility for all security related matters in the Western Hemisphere, including oversight of product integrity investigations involving counterfeiting, tampering and diversion of Pfizer products. At Purdue he is responsible for product integrity and security operations matters.

Richard previously served as a federal agent both with the United States Army Criminal Investigation Command (CID) and with the United States Food and Drug Administration-Office of Criminal Investigations (FDA-OCI). As a Special Agent with the Army CID, Richard served in many positions at various postings throughout the world where he was responsible for investigating and/or supervising all major felony crimes. At the time of his retirement he was the Chief of the Army CID Polygraph program. At FDA-OCI, Richard managed various programs involving counterfeiting, product diversion and product tampering. Richard also served as the FDA-OCI representative on the Permanent Forum on International Pharmaceutical Crime; an international law enforcement group developed to exchange and develop information regarding the global pharmaceutical counterfeiting problem.

Richard is board certified as a Certified Protection Professional with the American Society for Industrial Security-International where he currently serves on their Board of Directors. Richard is also a board certified fraud examiner with the Association of Certified Fraud Examiners. Richard has presented on several security related topics to national and international audiences ranging from transportation security to counterfeiting and diversion.

Richard holds a Bachelor of Science degree in Criminal Justice Management and a Master of Science degree in Public Administration.


The Business Threat Awareness Council is a voluntary group of professionals from the private and public sectors whose main goals are to improve threat awareness, promote best practices in threat management and business counterintelligence, and to disseminate this information to American businesses.

BTAC is a non-partisan and non-commercial organization. BTAC meetings are forums to exchange ideas, alert others to new and existing threats, and to meet like-minded professionals for the purpose of strengthening the infrastructure of America's commerce. For further information about BTAC and council events please visit

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