Roche's Genentech is warning oncologists that counterfeiters are making and selling fake Avastin in the US, reports the Associated Press' Matthew Perrone. Although it's unclear how many vials of the counterfeit drug have been distributed, a company spokeswoman said some have gone to healthcare facilities, Perrone adds. Although the company does not know what's actually in the vials of fake medicine, the spokeswoman added that they do not contain the ingredients that make Avastin an effective treatment for colon, lung, kidney, and brain cancer.
"In a related action, the FDA said late Tuesday it has contacted 19 medical practices that may have purchased unapproved drugs, including counterfeit Avastin, from a company called Quality Specialty Products," Perrone says. "The foreign supply company may also do business as Montana Health Care Solutions. ... Genentech was alerted to the problem by foreign health regulators and company officials believe the counterfeits were imported from abroad, though they could not specify which country."