Roche files lawsuit over fake diabetes diagnostics

Roche has filed a lawsuit against a string of Indian defendants in a New York court claiming they have sold counterfeit versions of its Accu-Chek diabetes care medical devices on Amazon and other online platforms.

The case accuses the India-based individuals and companies of wilfully selling “dangerous” counterfeits to people in the US and is seeking “an immediate stop to the sale and distribution” of the knock-offs.

Filed in the US District Court for the Eastern District of New York, in Brooklyn, the lawsuit names JMD Enterprises doing business as DKY Store USA, JMD Enterprises founder and owner Dileep Kumar Yadav, JMD International, JMD International owner and founder Abhishek Jain, Medical Hub_USA Store, Medical Hub_USA owner Ratnakar Sharma, Authentic Indian Store and Authentic Indian Store owner Atikur Rahman.

“Patients throughout the United States and the world rely on Roche’s trusted Accu-Chek brand medical devices to monitor and treat their diabetes, including by testing their blood glucose levels daily,” says the complaint.

“The defendant counterfeiters make their fake Accu-Chek medical devices in back-alley Indian apartment buildings,” it continues. “Their counterfeits are low-quality imitations that give off a strong chemical odour and cannot be trusted to function properly,”

That in turn could put users at risk of false or inaccurate measurements of blood glucose levels, putting patients at risk of severe and life-threatening complications like hyperglycaemia and incorrect dosages of insulin.

The lawsuit doesn’t name Amazon as a defendant directly, but does note that its platform gave the alleged counterfeiters “immediate and widespread access to the US market and American consumers” and allowed them to store their devices in its warehouses.

“Without access to American consumers through an American sales platform, the defendants’ counterfeiting would not be economically viable or would be a purely local problem and could be dealt with locally,” it asserts.

Products in Roche’s Accu-Chek range include Accu-Chek glucometers, blood glucose test strips and lancets. 

The complaint details a number of different forms of illegal activity, including the sale of inferior products passed off as Roche-made items, expired or nearly expired products that are removed from their original authentic packaging and put into fake packaging, and diversion of genuine product destined for international markets into the US.

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