Roche Warns of Counterfeit Cancer Drug in US

Roche’s Genentech unit said Tuesday that the fake products do not contain the key ingredient in Avastin, which is used to treat cancers of the colon, lung, kidney and brain. The drug is a huge money-maker for Roche, generating about $6 billion a year.

A spokeswoman said the counterfeit drug has been distributed to health care facilities in the U.S., though it’s unclear how many vials are in circulation or where they may be concentrated. The company is working with the Food and Drug Administration to track down the counterfeit vials and analyze their contents.

“We’re still analyzing what it is, we know it doesn’t contain the active ingredient in Avastin,” said Genentech spokeswoman Charlotte Arnold.

Avastin is administered in doctor’s offices and hospitals. Continue reading