Avastin (bevacizumab): Counterfeit Product - FDA Issues Letters to 19 Medical Practices

February 14, 2012

Audience: Oncology, Pharmacy, Patient

ISSUE: The FDA is warning healthcare professionals and patients about a counterfeit version of Avastin 400mg/16mL, which may have been purchased and used by some medical practices in the United States. The counterfeit version is labeled as Avastin, manufactured by Roche and does not contain the medicine's active ingredient, bevacizumab, which my have resulted in patients not receiving needed therapy. 19 medical practices in the United States purchased unapproved cancer medicines from Quality Specialty Products (QSP), a foreign supplier that may also be known as Montana Health Care Solutions. Volunteer Distribution in Gainesboro, Tennessee is a distributor of QSP’s products. 

BACKGROUND: Avastin is an injectable medicine used to treat cancer and is administered to patients in clinics, hospitals, and doctors' offices. Roche is the company that manufactures Avastin approved for marketing outside of the United States. Roche conducted laboratory tests that confirmed the counterfeit version of Avastin. Packages or vials may be counterfeit if they:

  • are labeled with Roche as the manufacturer
  • display batch numbers that start with B6010, B6011 or B86017  

The only FDA-approved version of Avastin for use in the United States is marketed by Genentech (a member company of Roche). The FDA-approved version does not include the Roche logo on the packaging or vials. FDA approved versions of these medicines are available in adequate supply to meet demand.

 
RECOMMENDATION: Medical practices that have obtained products from Volunteer Distribution and QSP should stop using them and contact the FDA. These products should be retained and securely stored. To report suspect counterfeit products and other suspect products obtained from Volunteer Distribution or QSP/Montana Health Care Solutions:

  • Call FDA's Office of Criminal Investigations (OCI) at 800-551-3989,

Healthcare professionals and patients are encouraged to report adverse events related to the use of suspect injectable cancer medications to the FDA's MedWatch Safety Information and Adverse Event Reporting Program:

  • Complete and submit the report Online: www.fda.gov/MedWatch/report.htm
  • Download form or call 1-800-332-1088 to request a reporting form, then complete and return to the address on the pre-addressed form, or submit by fax to 1-800-FDA-0178

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