The Partnership for Safe Medicines
Weekly UpdateAugust 24, 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 Customer Response Center at 888-825-5249, and follow-up with their physician or pharmacist to obtain a proper replacement.
Top News

Vatican Spokesperson Speaks Out Against Counterfeit Drugs

Agenzia Fides, the missionary press agency of the Vatican, has spoken out against counterfeit drugs and the approximated 700,000 people expected to die annually due to their pervasiveness. Fake tuberculosis and malaria drugs alone are estimated to kill 700,000 people a year. A large part of these victims are African. Agenzia Fides stated, "The development of germs resistant to antibiotics and other treatments is a problem that affects all humanity, not just Africans. It is therefore in the best interest of all concerned that smuggling of counterfeit drugs be fought against." ("Vatican Denounces Drug Counterfeiters," Partnership for Safe Medicines," August 19, 2010; Link here)
World News

EU: Researchers Find Counterfeit Versions of Discontinued Drugs Online


Researchers in Poland and Holland recently revealed that counterfeit varieties of the anti-obesity drug, Acomplia, are available over the internet. Acomplia, generically known as rimonabant, was pulled from the market in 2008 but can still be obtained online, according to The European researchers conducted testing of the counterfeit drugs and found that while many of the pills had effective levels of rimonabant, there were a number of other impurities including unapproved ingredients. ("European Researchers Find Counterfeit Drugs Online," Partnership for Safe Medicines, August 23, 2010; Link here)



China: Officials List 33 Counterfeit Drugs to Aid Law Enforcement


China's State Food and Drug Administration recently provided names of 33 fake medicinal products to help provincial and national authorities investigate drug counterfeiting activities, reports Securing Pharma. The fakes carry falsified trademarks of Chinese drug manufacturers, as well as some other major drug manufacturers including Pfizer. They include drugs to treat diabetes, respiratory conditions, cardiovascular disease, gout, arthritis and central nervous system disorders. ("China lists names of 33 fake meds," Fierce Pharma, August 18, 2010; Link here)



India: Drug Courier Arrested for Transporting Counterfeit Drugs


Police in India recently arrested a man in possession of counterfeit drugs. Dharmender Singh was arrested at the Kidwai Nagar bus stand for allegedly dealing in counterfeit drugs, according to the Asian Age. The police say that Singh had a number of drugs that were marked with counterfeit labels of two famous pharmaceutical companies. Singh's story is an example of the new way that counterfeit drugs are being distributed, according to Indian police. Instead of moving the fake medicines in large, bulk shipments, counterfeit drug dealers are now relying on individual couriers to push the phony goods, reports the news source. ("Indian Cops Nab Counterfeit Drug Courier," Partnership for Safe Medicines, August 18, 2010; Link here)



Anti-counterfeiting Americas (Bosto
n, 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

PSM InterchangeThe 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 and other unsafe medicines. Register by August 1st to take advantage of reduced registration fees.

Register Now
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