Cyprus Mail

Health services warn over counterfeit cancer drug sold in the north

Pharmaceutical services on Friday warned three batches of a counterfeit cancer treatment drug were being distributed in the north.

The warning concerns a variant of Bevacizumab 100mg/4ml drug produced by Swiss company F. Hoffman-La Roche Ltd, which is sold under the trade name Avastin. However Turkey and the north sell a counterfeit Avastin called Altuzan which reportedly contains no Bevacizumab, the active ingredient.

The drug is used alone or in combination with other chemotherapeutic agents to treat metastatic cancer in the ovaries, breast, colon or other organs, the announcement said.

Roche confirmed to the health ministry’s pharmaceutical services there are three batches of Altuzan 100mg/ml in the north; batch numbers Β7213Β03, Β7211Β85 and Β7211Β91.

It is possible there are more on the market, the announcement added, warning that products in the north are not monitored by the Republic or EU authorities and the quality, safety and effectiveness of the drugs cannot be guaranteed.

The pharmaceutical services said the use of counterfeit medicine “could have serious risks to health and may even cause death. Consequently, we urge the public to be particularly careful when purchasing medicine and buying only from licenced and regulated pharmacies from the Republic.”

To contact the pharmaceutical services for more information visit call 22 608616 or email [email protected]

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