Counterfeit clippings: fake pharma news in brief

News clippingsCounterfeit Centrum multivitamins, Xanax and veterinary vaccines feature in our round-up of pharma crime developments, along with regulatory updates from Nigeria and Kenya.

The Philippines Food and Drug Administration (FDA) has warned the public to be aware of counterfeit versions of Pfizer Consumer Healthcare's Centrum and Centrum Silver multivitamins being sold online by Beeconomic Philippines, a company owned and operated by Groupon Philippines. "The counterfeit products do not bear the FDA Certificate of Product Registration Number and do not contain the same formulation approved by the FDA," said the regulator in a statement.

The authorities in Tanzania have warned that counterfeit copies of a veterinary vaccine used to protect poultry from avian influenza are circulating in the marketplace, reports IPPmedia. The bootleg copies of the thermostable vaccine against Newcastle disease - which is transmissible to humans - were reportedly distributed by the Kibaha-based Tanzania Vaccine Institute (TVI). The company has been suspended from operating on order from the Tanzania Foods and Drugs Authority (TFDA). The TFDA investigated the counterfeits with the help of the police and the Ministry of Livestock Development and Fisheries' Tanzania Veterinary Laboratory Agency (TVLA).

The Pharmacy and Poisons Board of Kenya (PPBK) has said 30 per cent of medicines sold in the country last year were counterfeit, causing a loss of around 10 billion shillings ($118m), according to a report in The Standard newspaper. The agency warned that consumers should not buy medicines from any source other than licensed premises, and to help consumers it published list of all registered pharmacies and drugstores as of September 2013 last week. The complete listing of 4,246 establishments (including individual premises operated by chains) is available from the PPBK website. Kenya is in the process of updating the Pharmacy and Poisons Board Act, with draft amendments that would increase fines for unregistered and unlicensed pharmacies from 50,000 to 500,000 shillings. It will also impose fines for medical product counterfeiting of up to 1m shillings and jail terms of up to 10 years.

The Kano State Task Force on Fake and Counterfeit Drugs in Nigeria has secured convictions for 100 people involved in the sale and distribution of counterfeit and adulterated medicines in the past year, according to a News Agency of Nigeria report. The Task Force has also confiscated and destroyed fake and adulterated drugs worth over 3bn naira ($19m) since it was set up last year.

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