April 5, 2012- A batch of counterfeit drug Avastin was found in the U.S. Avastin is a cancer fighting drug and authorities found a new batch that was counterfeit and originally purchased in Turkey. It arrived in the U.S. after being shipped from Britain. The latest shipment was shipped in similar fashion to the one prior.
Authorities first found the counterfeit Roche drug in February as it arrived in the U.S. via Europe from the Middle East. With this happening on two occasions, it highlights the problems the supply chain of global medicines has. It leaves much in need patients vulnerable of receiving contaminated and ineffective medicine.
The MHRA or Medicines and Healthcare Regulatory Agency in Britain is investigating how the last counterfeit drug arrived in Britain before being sent to the U.S. market and being sold. Thus far, the agency has established that a wholesaler in Britain, Richard Pharma, purchased 120 packs of Avastin from a supplier in Turkey. Thirty of the packs were sent directly to the U.S. from Turkey.
The balance was sold to River East another British company that also exports. They sent them to someone in the U.S. market. River East had been identified early as a party involved in the first Avastin incident.
The fake medicine does not include any bevacizumab, which is the active ingredient in the drug.