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FDA warns of counterfeit anti-cancer drug Avastin [R].

The FDA recently announced that a counterfeit version of the anti-cancer drug Avastin[R] may have been purchased and used in a number of medical facilities in the United States. * Nineteen medical practices known to have purchased unapproved cancer medications were contacted to warn them about use of the possible counterfeit drug. The fake version of Avastin[R] that is being peddled lacks the medicine's key ingredient, bevacizumab, which may endanger patients who take the drug believing it to be the real thing. Roche, who manufactures Avastin[R], conducted laboratory tests confirming the presence of the counterfeit version.

"The counterfeit product is not safe or effective and should not be used," Roche member company Genentech said in a written statement. Genentech is responsible for marketing Avastin[R]. The unapproved cancer medications--potentially including the counterfeit version of Avastin[R]--were purchased from a foreign supplier known as Quality Specialty Products, which may also be known as Montana Health Care Solutions, according to the FDA. "It sounds like the key issue with that ... is that the counterfeit vials don't have Genentech labels on them," said Donald Harvey, president of the Hematology and Oncology Pharmacists Association.


* Accessed, February 21, 2012.

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Title Annotation:IN THE NEWS
Author:Finkel, J.
Publication:Life Extension
Article Type:Brief article
Geographic Code:1USA
Date:May 1, 2012
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