Fake Kidney Cancer Drug Avastin Being Sold in the United States
A lot of debate takes place about the cost differences between drugs in the United States and those abroad. The amount of money it takes a pharmaceutical company for research and development to come to market with a new cancer drug is enormous. Some foreign governments put price caps on the costs of the drugs, thereby undercutting the return on investment by the drug companies. This is what allows some patients in other countries to get the drugs cheaper, passing the cost of research and development onto U.S. consumers or leading companies to drop the research to find new cancer drugs due to the inability to get a return on that investment.
More importantly, though, is the dangers of criminal entrepreneurs tapping into the desire to obtain cheaper drugs by producing or buying counterfeit drugs and selling these “cancer drugs” abroad or via the internet.
The Wall Street Journal today broke a major story noting that “Authorities investigating the importation of low-cost foreign pharmaceuticals into the U.S. have identified a supply chain that may have allowed fake cancer drugs to reach U.S. clinics.”
One of the men under investigation acknowledged his company had shipped fake Avastin – which is one of the drugs prescribed to kidney cancer patients – into the United States late last year.
The counterfeit drug included starch, salt and even cleaning solvents — wonderful for your veins, I’m sure. Here’s what it didn’t have: bevacizumab, the actual cancer-fighting component of Avastin.
The distributors were from Canada but the drugs could have been manufactured from anywhere and run through a complex supply chain route to get to Canada and into the United States.
As somebody who is considering a clinical trial that would combine Affinitor and Avastin, I find this news enlightening. I thought you might too.
Also, you might make inquiries about the legitimacy of the drug if you are taking Avastin. I’m fairly sure you’re safe. But if you’re somehow getting your drugs via the Internet, you might be better off reaching into your cleaning closet and drinking some Ajax.