This Day On The Street
Continue to site
ADVERTISEMENT
This account is pending registration confirmation. Please click on the link within the confirmation email previously sent you to complete registration.
Need a new registration confirmation email? Click here

Industry Bickers Over How To Catch Fake Drugs

MATTHEW PERRONE

WASHINGTON (AP) â¿¿ The news this week that a fake version of the cancer medicine Avastin has made its way into the United States highlights a longtime concern: There are few safeguards to make sure fake drugs can be spotted before they make it to your doctor's office.

For more than a decade, public safety advocates have called for a tracking system that would enable everyone from manufacturers to wholesalers to doctors to verify the authenticity of prescription drugs through electronic tags or barcodes. But bickering between those parties over the cost and scope has stalled the effort.

The Food and Drug Administration is expected to issue a proposal for the technology behind a tracing system later this year â¿¿ five years after a law passed ordering the agency to develop a plan. But in the meantime the U.S. system continues to be vulnerable to counterfeits, as highlighted by the Avastin case.

"This counterfeit Avastin isn't something that was ordered over the Internet, or sold on a street corner," said Allan Coukell, director of the Pew Charitable Trusts' medical group. "It illustrates that it's possible to sell a fake drug into a legitimate distribution system."

The FDA on Tuesday announced it is investigating fake vials of Avastin sold to U.S. physicians by Quality Specialty Products., a foreign supplier that also does business as Montana Health Care Solutions.

U.K. regulators first discovered the counterfeits in December and seized 167 packs, though more than three dozen others had already been sold to the U.S., according to the country's Medicines and Healthcare Products Agency. The FDA confirmed that the drugs were counterfeit last week.

The fake Avastin vials, some of which were labeled in French, were distributed by a Tennessee-based supplier. FDA officials say the supplier was licensed by the state health department.

1 of 3

Check Out Our Best Services for Investors

Action Alerts PLUS

Portfolio Manager Jim Cramer and Director of Research Jack Mohr reveal their investment tactics while giving advanced notice before every trade.

Product Features:
  • $2.5+ million portfolio
  • Large-cap and dividend focus
  • Intraday trade alerts from Cramer
Quant Ratings

Access the tool that DOMINATES the Russell 2000 and the S&P 500.

Product Features:
  • Buy, hold, or sell recommendations for over 4,300 stocks
  • Unlimited research reports on your favorite stocks
  • A custom stock screener
Stocks Under $10

David Peltier uncovers low dollar stocks with serious upside potential that are flying under Wall Street's radar.

Product Features:
  • Model portfolio
  • Stocks trading below $10
  • Intraday trade alerts
14-Days Free
Only $9.95
14-Days Free
To begin commenting right away, you can log in below using your Disqus, Facebook, Twitter, OpenID or Yahoo login credentials. Alternatively, you can post a comment as a "guest" just by entering an email address. Your use of the commenting tool is subject to multiple terms of service/use and privacy policies - see here for more details.
Submit an article to us!
SYM TRADE IT LAST %CHG

Markets

DOW 18,080.14 +21.45 0.12%
S&P 500 2,117.69 +4.76 0.23%
NASDAQ 5,092.0850 +36.0220 0.71%

Partners Compare Online Brokers

Free Reports

Top Rated Stocks Top Rated Funds Top Rated ETFs