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British drug regulators warn patients over fake drugs

By Staff
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Google Oneindia News

London, June 2 (UNI) In Britain drug regulators have issued a warning to thousands of patients taking a life-saving cancer medicine whose counterfeits have entered the supply chain.

Fake batches of Casodex, a prostate cancer drug, was discovered after an alarming surge in counterfeit medications for critical conditions. The alert is the third in a week involving blockbuster drugs, which have also included a schizophrenia drug and a blood-thinning agent.

Police have launched a big investigation after the discoveries, which have all been traced to the same UK-based wholesaler. They are thought likely to have originated from an international criminal syndicate ''possibly based in China, Pakistan or India'' taking advantage of the huge profits to be made from fake drugs. The wholesaler linked to the counterfeit batch, 65520, of Casodex, a hormone treatment for men with advanced prostate cancer, has had his licence removed.

The Medicines and Healthcare products Regulatory Agency (MHRA), confirmed that a man had been arrested and released on bail last week after previous drug recalls of counterfeit Zyprexa, a schizophrenia drug, and Plavix, a blood thinner and the world's second-biggest-selling drug.

Investigators believe that the dealer, who has not been charged, may have been working with other wholesalers to import the fakes from Asia via other European countries.

UNI

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