Shortly after London's ordeals, I heard of a new piece of intelligence suggesting that a large pharmaceutical company is on a short list of possible Al Kaeida targets. Since I'm sure all pharmaceutical facilities are securely buttoned up, I wonder more about our industry as a whole becoming a focus of attack by these maniacal extremists.
By now you've no doubt heard how Colombian drug lords nixed a lucrative deal several years back with Osama bin Laden, who'd offered to buy a large quantity of their cocaine to then lace with poison before orchestrating its distribution to American users. Lucky for us the drug lords considered the bottom line and decided that partnering with bin Laden, or anyone else planning to taint their product, was bad for business.
But if bin Laden and his ilk already tried using illegal drugs as a delivery mechanism of death, will they attempt duplicating the scheme with legitimate drugs? In particular, our teenagers' susceptibility is a concern. Columbia University recently reported that about 2.3 million youth between the ages of 12 to 17 took legal medications illegally in 2003. Some teens evidently buy their drugs from questionable internet pharmacies that don't require prescriptions.Hopefully, the terrorists can't access the capabilities to pull off such a scenario. Maybe they've already realized they'd have little control over which users ordered their product. After all, there's no telling when even a bin Laden loyalist outside the inner circle might one day reach for a bottle of oxycontin procured from a suspicious internet pharmacy. Of one thing I'm sure. It's a good time to steer clear of any medication whose source is of a dubious nature.
Carol L. Fisher, Editor in Chief