Five Pharmaceutical Companies Now Report Counterfeit Cases
The number of recent cases of drug counterfeiting and tampering under investigation by the FDA has grown to five, the Philadelphia Inquirer reports. "It's too soon to know whether the recent cases," which have not led to any reported injuries, "amount to a new trend," FDA spokesperson Jason Brodsky said. But the Inquirer reports that "industry officials suggest the latest cases may be an indication of a growing problem" (Loyd, Philadelphia Inquirer, 6/4). Last month, Amgen announced that counterfeit vials of its anemia drug Epogen were discovered; Eli Lilly said that bottles of its schizophrenia treatment Zyprexa were found to contain aspirin; and GlaxoSmithKline revealed that bottles of its AIDS medication Ziagen were improperly labeled and sold as a different drug (California Healthline, 5/14). In the latest development, Bayer Corp. and Serono Inc. reported cases of tampering or counterfeiting. The fraudulent activity is an "increasing problem around the world" because of profit potential, open borders and improved technology, John Glover, a retired corporate security vice president for Bristol-Myers Squibb and a former FBI agent, said. He added, "The Internet ... is making it easier to transgress borders and import a number of these (fraudulent) products into the United States" (Philadelphia Inquirer, 6/4).This is part of the California Healthline Daily Edition, a summary of health policy coverage from major news organizations. Sign up for an email subscription.