The FDA found a second, new batch of counterfeit cancer drug, Avastin. These counterfeits do not contain the active ingredient found in Avastin, bevacizumab.
The fake vials are packaged as Altuzan, the Turkish version of Avastin and is not approved in the U.S. Doctors bought the counterfeit Avastin through Richards Pharma, a distributor that also does business as Richards Services, Warwick Healthcare Solutions and Ban Dune Marketing Inc.
The distributor imported 120 packs of the cancer medicine from a Turkish supplier, 38 of which were exported directly to the United States.
FDA said in a statement released Wednesday, “Packaging or vials found in the U.S. that claim to be Roche’s Altuzan with lot number B6021 should be considered counterfeit. Many, if not all of the products sold and distributed through this distributor have not been approved by the FDA. Any medical practice that has obtained unapproved products, in particular from Richards Pharma, Richards Services, Warwick Healthcare Solutions, or Ban Dune Marketing Inc (BDMI), should stop using them and contact the FDA. The products should be retained and securely stored until further notice by the FDA.”
Britain’s Medicines and Healthcare products Regulatory Agency (MHRA) is trying to figure out how the counterfeit cancer drug entered Britain before it got exported to the U.S. Spokeswoman for Britain’s Medicines and Healthcare products Regulatory Agency (MHRA) Jennifer Kyne said, “It’s an ongoing investigation. We’re helping the FDA (Food and Drug Administration) with their investigation and doing all we can on our side.”
This is not the first time for counterfeit Avastin. In February, fake Avastin drug were shipped into the United States from the Middle East via Europe.
Avastin is used to treat colorectal, lung, kidney, breast and ovarian cancer and is among Roche’s top-selling drugs with a turnover of 5.3 billion Swiss francs ($5.8 billion, 4.4 billion euros) in 2011.
The FDA said, “The only FDA-approved version of Avastin in the United States is marketed by Genentech, a subsidiary of Roche, and does not bear the Roche logo on its packaging. Altuzan is not approved for use in the United States.”