The FDA issued a warning today that 24 apparently related Web sites may be involved in the distribution of counterfeit prescription drugs. The drug is Xenical, a weight loss medication made by Hoffmann-La Roche.
The warning was relayed via a release at the FDA web site here, and contains the names of the sites. The FDA has provided pictures of the counterfeit Xenical, but unfortunately didn’t think to put pictures of bona fide product side-by-side with the counterfeits. Modern technology is such that many counterfeits are virtually indistinguishable from the legitimate drug.
Distribution of counterfeit drugs raises liability concerns for any pharmacy or distributor that sells them, and potentially for any manufacturer that turns a blind eye to the distribution practices for its own drugs so that they trade on the gray market in pharmaceuticals.
More on counterfeit drugs, including commentary on pending legislation, can be found on this blog by clicking on the label in the sidebar or this link: Counterfeit Drugs.