02/16/2012 - News that a counterfeit version of the cancer drug Avastin was found in the U.S. highlights a rising threat: fakes of costly injectable therapies, rather than simple pills, such as Viagra.
The Food and Drug Administration recently alerted doctors and other health-care providers about the risk of "non-FDA-approved injectable cancer medications," including unauthorized versions of Herceptin, Rituxan and Neupogen, that were being marketed and sold to clinics and "most likely were administered to patients."
"We don't have any system in place for authenticating drugs in the U.S.," said Allan Coukell, director of medical programs at the Pew Health Group, who co-wrote a report last year on counterfeit and adulterated drugs. He said federal laws don't require the tracking and tracing of medicines, though companies are developing a plan, and California has a law that starts taking effect for manufacturers in 2015.
Read the full article, Fakes Infiltrate Injectable Drugs, on The Wall Street Journal's Web site.