ST. PAUL, Minn.--(BUSINESS WIRE)--To help protect against potentially unsafe dental products entering the marketplace, Patterson Companies, Inc. has announced that it is formalizing its efforts to promote supply chain integrity for its dental customers. The company’s program will assure that products distributed through its Patterson Dental business are sourced directly from the manufacturer – and not through channels carrying deeply discounted gray market products, which are frequently the same channels carrying counterfeit or other black market products.
“We have worked hard for years to ensure the highest integrity of our supply chain, and we hope that the rest of the dental supply industry will show a similar commitment to secure their own supply chains,” said Scott P. Anderson, Patterson Companies’ chairman and chief executive officer. “We know that this is an issue within our industry and are concerned about the potential problems that could result if it isn’t addressed. Given the potential for dentists to unknowingly purchase counterfeit or dangerous products, we believe that this is a very important matter. Among our highest priorities are our customers’ reputation and their patients’ safety.”
According to the US Food and Drug Administration, the term “gray market” generally refers to products that are sold outside the established distribution chain, typically at a deeply-discounted price (eg, products intended to be sold abroad, but instead imported and sold in the US). Such products may – or may not – satisfy FDA-related requirements, or other applicable laws and regulations. A significant concern is that products available on the gray market are often indistinguishable from defective or counterfeit “black market” products that travel through those same distribution channels. Such products may have been diverted from planned destruction or even have been recalled. Customers cannot be confident that products purchased through the gray market are genuine, safe or have been handled appropriately.
“The program that we will put in place is designed to help protect our dental customers and their patients from products that may be potentially unsafe,” said Paul Guggenheim, president of Patterson Dental. “By further reinforcing the integrity of Patterson’s supply chain, we can safeguard against the distribution of products that may be unsafe, have been mishandled or are illegal. As a result of our efforts, and as their trusted partner, our customers will know that Patterson Dental is providing them with products that come directly from the manufacturer or its authorized distributors. We are proud to continue to deliver on our commitment to customers and their patients.”