The FDA has issued a warning against a fake cancer drug being distributed to medical practices in the United States.
The Food and Drug Administration announced Tuesday that it is alerting medical professionals about a counterfeit batch of Avastin currently circulating domestically. Avastin is typically used in the treatment of cancers affecting the colon, lung, kidney, and brain.
The Associated Press writes that a series of alerts were issued by the FDA last year concerning Avastin. At least two distributors were known to be selling the counterfeit forms of the cancer drug.
The fake versions of Avastin were said to include a combination of chemicals, acetone, and cornstarch. None of the active ingredients found in the genuine drug were present in the fake version.
The FDA’s new warning focuses on Altuzan, the Turkish brand-name for Avastin, which has not been approved domestically. Two batches of the drug were shipped within the United States by New York’s Pharmalogical, a company that also operates under the names Taranis Medical and Medical Device King. According to the FDA, the drugs in at least one of these shipments is void of active ingredients.
Based in Great Neck, New York, Pharmalogical has maintained its drug wholesaler license for the past four years. The company’s website insinuates that it secures its products from foreign distributors, a practice that is considered illegal in the United States.
A report by The Wall Street Journal indicates that the FDA has found no evidence of Altuzan making it into the hands of patients. The agency plans to continue their investigation in the hopes of locating which medical professionals have purchased the fake cancer drug.