Published April 04, 2012
| The Wall Street Journal
The U.S. Food and Drug Administration has found a new batch of counterfeit Avastin circulating in the US, this supply apparently distributed by a different network from one connected to an earlier fake lot of the cancer drug.
The fakes were packaged in boxes labeled as Altuzan, the brand name for Avastin in Turkey, the FDA said in a posting on its website that warned doctors and hospitals to avoid using the unapproved products.
Lab tests confirmed that the fakes lacked the key ingredient in Avastin, the FDA said.
The FDA said medical practices in the US bought the fakes, but it didn't identify the practices. Neither the FDA nor Roche Holding AG's Genentech unit, which makes Avastin, said they had received any reports of harm.
A Genentech spokeswoman directed questions to the FDA, which the company said was leading the probe of the newly discovered fakes.
The FDA first warned in February that a counterfeit supply of the widely-used Avastin had turned up in the U.S. The Wall Street Journal has traced that supply through a network of firms in Canada, Barbados, the United Kingdom, Denmark, Switzerland, Egypt and Turkey.