Speaking to reporters, Charlotte Arnold, spokeswoman for the Roche US-based unit Genentech, said that since the counterfeit Avastin lacks the active ingredient, “it’s not safe or effective for use. It should not be used. We are still analysing what is in the product. We know that there is no biological product in it.”
Meanwhile, the FDA has contacted 19 medical practices in the US that purchased unapproved cancer medicines that may include the counterfeit Avastin. The 19 medical practices purchased unapproved cancer medicines and, potentially, the counterfeit Avastin, from Quality Specialty Products (QSP), a foreign supplier that is also known as Montana Health Care Solutions. The FDA asked QSP’s US distributor in Tennessee to stop using any remaining products from the supplier.
A Genentech spokesperson said that some of the counterfeit US lots are believed to be labelled as Avastin 400 mg/16 ml and have the serial numbers B86017, B6011 and B6010. He added that the suspect batches differ from the official product, which is certified by the FDA. Genuine Avastin boxes are normally marked with six digit serial numbers and have no letters, he further said.