The Partnership for Safe Medicines
Weekly UpdateJuly 19, 2010
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FDA Warns Consumers Not To Use Stolen Advair Inhalers

The U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) has issued a warning that a number of Advair Diskus inhalers that were stolen in 2009 have been found in some pharmacies and that consumers should not used the stolen products.

The products were reported stolen from a GlaxoSmithKline warehouse near Richmond, Virginia, in August 2009. These recently discovered inhalers were the first that surfaced from the theft but the FDA is still warning consumers that more of the stolen products may appear in the marketplace.

Advair Diskus, generically known as fluticasone propionate and salmeterol inhalation powder, is used to treat those who suffer from asthma and chronic obstructive pulmonary disease.

There are a number of risks associated with the use of stolen pharmaceutical products. They may have been stored at incorrect temperatures and humidity levels. Improper storage conditions can degrade medications or cause them to lose potency. In addition, stolen drugs may have been tampered with and may be contaminated.

There were two lots stolen, totalling 25,600 Advair Diskus inhalers. The lot numbers of the stolen produces are 9ZP2255 - NDC 0173-0696-00 and 9ZP3325 - NDC 0173-0697-00. Patients who have products with these lot numbers should immediately stop using them, contact GlaxoSmithKline's CustomerResponseCenter at 888-825-5249, and follow-up with their physician or pharmacist to obtain a proper replacement.

Top News

Illinois Man Accused Of Selling Counterfeit Drugs


An Illinois man is currently facing charges that he sold counterfeit drugs.

Wail T. Salem of Orland Park, Illinois, is accused of selling thousands of items that falsely bore the name of Pfizer Incorporated, a respected pharmaceutical company, according to the Chicago Tribune. It is believed that Salem made more than $100,000 through his alleged fraudulent activities. (Partnership for Safe Medicines, July 16, 2010; Link here)

Identifying Counterfeit Drugs Part of New Malaria Research

The National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases (NIAID) recently announced that it will create 10 malaria centers around the world to study issues related to the disease, including new methods for identifying counterfeit drugs used to treat the illness. (Partnership for Safe Medicines, July 16, 2010; Link here)

World News

UK: Counterfeit Weigh-Loss Drugs Run Rampant


Authorities in the UK have confiscated large numbers of counterfeit weight-loss drugs originally headed for the consumer market. The drugs break down into counterfeits of two prescription-only anti-obesity pills, Xenical and Reductil, the latter of which was withdrawn from sale in Europe in January over worries it could increase the risk of heart attacks in some patients. According to Mick Deats of the Medicines and Healthcare products Regulatory Agency (MHRA), "There is no such thing as a good counterfeit medicine. These have been made in substandard conditions, they contain impurities we don't even know about." Despite warnings from the MHRA, online pharmacies and auction sites continue to sell these illegal products. ("The Booming Market in Counterfeit Slimming Pills," BBC, July 7, 2010; Story here)



Middle East: Counterfeit Drugs Cost Local Economies Billions


According to the Algerian Press Service, the counterfeit drug industry is costing Arab countries US$3 billion annually resulting on a drain on those countries economies. Due to the economic and public health problems caused by counterfeit drugs, a new technique has been invented to fight against them. Secretary General of the Arab Pharmacists Union, Ibrahim Al Achri, said each drug will have a DNA fingerprint, a serial number and an identification number so that they can be tracked and counterfeits will be easily identified. ("Arab Countries Suffer US$3 Billion Loss Annually To Counterfeit Drugs," Bernama, July 19, 2010; Story here)


Anti-counterfeiting Americas (Boston, USA)
When: Wednesday, Sep 8, 2010
Where: Boston, USA
Description: Link here

PSM's Inaugural 2010 Interchange
When: Friday, Oct 8, 2010
Where: Washington, D.C.
Description: The Partnership for Safe Medicines invites you to save the date for an intimate conference bringing together patient groups, providers, pharmaceutical company quality experts, enforcement personnel, policymakers, regulatory agency experts and other interested parties to discuss key issues around counterfeit drugs andother unsafe medicines. Link here.
About the Partnership for Safe Medicines
The Partnership for Safe Medicines is a group of organizations and individuals that have policies, procedures, or programs to protect consumers from counterfeit or contraband medicines. For more information, please visit