20/21 November 2019
The issue of counterfeit medicines is often played down as it only affects the expensive blockbuster products anyway - mostly just products of the large pharmaceutical manufacturers. However, this is just as much a misconception as the belief that the products only show up in the internet trade and cannot be brought into the legal supply chain.
Another current case of counterfeit medicines now relates to products of the medium-sized company Desitin from Hamburg. According to a release from the German industry service provider Apotheke Adhoc (in German) Desitin reports about counterfeited Petnidan (Ethosuximide), 250 ml juice. The company therefore calls back the batch X514. The counterfeited product is equipped with German-speaking information and shows deviations from the original product. According to the report there is currently still no evidence that the fake products are also available in Germany.
The AMK News (Arzneimittelkommission der Deutschen Apotheker - Drug Commission of German Pharmacists) - (in German) further informs about a case in which 570 packs of Calcium Sandoz® D Osteo (Calcium Carbonate, Cholecalciferol), 120 chewable tablets (PZN 00490429) with the batch number FK7278 were stolen during transport. The batch was still not released at the time of transportation, and it cannot be excluded that the stolen products are introduced illegally into the distribution chain.
We had recently reported about two more cases of counterfeiting in the legal supply chain. Due to the increased risk because of counterfeit medicines the EU Commission has legally enshrined the implementation of a Track&Trace system with a 2D Matrix Code in the so-called "Counterfeit Directive". Every company has to implement these requirements. The IT implementation necessary for track & trace was just ordered by the pharmaceutical associations in July.