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Counterfeit Avastin Warning Issued

Filed February 16th, 2012 Julie

Genetech, a subsidiary of Roche and the maker of best-selling cancer drug, Avastin, is telling physicians and patients to be cautious of counterfeit vials of the medication distributed in the U.S. but manufactured abroad. The counterfeit products do not even contain Avastin.

The counterfeit has been distributed to health care facilities in the U.S., said a spokesperson, but it was not known how much of the fake products are in circulation or where they might be concentrated. Genetech and the Food and Drug Administration are working side by side to track down the vials and analyze their contents.

Foreign health regulators alerted the company to the problem. The counterfeits are believed to be imported, though it is not clear which country they came from. The company believes drugs labeled with the following lot numbers may be fake: B86017, B6011 and B6010.

The FDA also said on Tuesday that it had contacted 19 medical practices that may have purchased unapproved drugs from a firm called Quality Specialty Products, with the counterfeit Avastin being one of them. The foreign supply company may also do business as Montana Health Care Solutions, the agency said.

Doctors who think they received the fake drugs should contact the FDA’s criminal unit or Roche’s quality assurance department.

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