Danger: Counterfeit Neupogen® (Filgrastim)

On May 10 Amgen Inc. warned medical professionals that counterfeit vials labeled as Neupogen (filgrastim) have been found in the United States (but not in other countries at that time). These vials contain a clear liquid, but no active ingredient -- a fraud that could be life-threatening to patients.

The Amgen Web site has detailed instructions for distinguishing the counterfeit product, which is easy to do, because there are differences in the lot number, packaging, and labeling. For example, lot number P000948 is counterfeit; while lot number P000890 with one expiration date is counterfeit, but the same lot number with another expiration date is probably authentic. Since other fake labels may be printed, check the Amgen Web site, http://www.amgen.com.

(Try clicking "Corporate Center," then "Amgen News" -- check the May 10 or 11 press release, which has photos showing the differences, and see if there are any later press releases.)

ISSN # 1052-4207

Copyright 2001 by John S. James. Permission granted for noncommercial reproduction, provided that our address and phone number are included if more than short quotations are used.

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