FDA Warns of Counterfeit Avastin

The US Food and Drug Administration (FDA) is warning that some fake versions of the cancer drug Avastin (bevacizumab) may have been purchased by medical practices. Avastin is administered by injection in clinics, hospitals, and doctor’s offices to treat many types of cancer, including colon cancer, kidney cancer, lung cancer, and certain brain tumors.

The counterfeit version does not contain the drug’s active ingredient, bevacizumab, so if any patients received it, they missed getting the therapy they needed. The counterfeit version lists Roche as the manufacturer and has lot numbers that start with B6010, B6011, or B86017. Roche does manufacture Avastin, but the real drug is marketed by Genentech in the U.S. and does not include Roche’s name or logo on the packaging.

The FDA notified 19 medical practices in the U.S. that they may have purchased unapproved cancer drugs, including the fake Avastin, from a company called Quality Specialty Products (QSP) or Montana Health Care Solutions. They are asking all medical professionals who have bought drugs from this company to stop using them and contact the FDA. The FDA says there is enough of the real Avastin in the US to treat patients who need it.

An FDA spokeswoman says cancer patients who take Avastin and are worried about the warning should talk to their doctors to make sure they are receiving the real drug.

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