FDA Warns Doctors of Illegal and Counterfeit Medicines, ABC News Reports
ABC News reports that the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) has warned doctors of counterfeit medicines and to be aware of false drug distributors. United States health regulators are trying to raise awareness of illegal operations that attempt to sell bogus drugs to doctors in the United States. Often these illegal operations attempt to persuade physicians by offering large discounts on pricey injectable drugs.
The World Health Organization (WHO) reports that global sales of counterfeit medicines – or medicines that are otherwise contaminated or illegal – total approximately $430 billion a year. Further, up to 50% of the drug supply in developing countries may be fake. For example, in the United States counterfeit versions of the Roiche Group cancer drug Avastin® have infiltrated the wholesale supply three times since 2012.
The FDA has decided to begin its own educational campaign by providing information to physicians across the country to help them recognize bogus offers and counterfeit medicines. The FDA has provided the following tips for spotting these counterfeit medicines that are not FDA-approved: labels that are not in English; unfamiliar dosing instructions; absent safety information; and a product name that differs from the name of an FDA-approved drug.
Ilisa Bernstein, acting director of the FDA’s office of compliance, states that “[t]hey are targeting doctors and medical clinics and using these aggressive marketing tactics to offer medications at discount rates.” She adds, “We’re fighting back with their own medicine.”
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