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More Counterfeit Avastin Hits the Market: Consumers at Risk

One has to wonder if they doth protest too much.

This past weekend, the U.S. Food and Drug Administration released a public statement responding to critics who attest the agency is ineffectual when it comes to tracking the safety of drugs that have already made their way on the market. The timing is poignant, however. Just this week, a new shipment of counterfeit Avastin was discovered in the United States.

Earlier this year, our Chicago personal injury lawyers commented on a batch of phony pharmaceuticals, concerned about the effects on unwell patients who otherwise expected that a drug would have a desired result.

Imitation Avastin doses contain a variety of chemicals, but not the active ingredient found in the genuine drug: Avastin – the genuine variety – is a drug produced by Hoffmann-La Roche AG, an international drug-manufacturing conglomerate that is one of the largest pharmaceutical companies in the world. Hoffmann-La Roche sells Avastin in 120 countries and manufactures and packages the drug at eight sites worldwide. Avastin works to block the growth of new blood vessels, and is commonly used to treat various types of cancers, including lung-, breast-, and kidney-cancer. It was originally approved by the US Food and Drug Administration to treat certain metastatic cancers, and though its approval was revoked in November of 2011, doctors are still allowed to prescribe it.

According to MSNBC, the shipments of counterfeit Avastin entered the country from the Middle East via Europe, the same way that earlier batches had come to the U.S.

But what is the FDA doing to protect consumers? This past weekend’s press release comes on the heels of a number of criticisms, including an investigative report from the Institute of Medicine, an independent research body that advises the government on scientific matters, which found that the FDA needed to do more to police the safety of medicines after they reach the market.

Given the uncertainty of a number of drugs on the market, our Chicago injury lawyers want people to be especially careful. Though the best injury is one that doesn’t ever occur, if you’ve had an incident with a pharmaceutical that caused an illness or injury, or are the survivor of someone who may have died from the use or exposure to a dangerous or defective drug, there may be recourse. Illinois product liability law is an area of personal injury law that focuses on dangerous and defective products; it is the area of law in which manufacturers, distributors, retailers, and others who manufacture and disseminate goods to the public are held responsible for the injuries caused by those products. “Products” in this instance covers a wide range of categories, including medical devices and pharmaceuticals. As it pertains to this case, the distributer of the counterfeit drugs would be liable for damages caused by those injuries, but the FDA may also be liable if they are found to have been negligent in inspecting the dangerous, ineffective drugs on the market.

We are especially proud of the efforts of our Chicago personal injury lawyers who represent victims across Illinois in matters against companies that have sold or manufactured unsafe products to consumers. In fact, our attorneys brought a case against Orion Research Inc. and Baxter Health Care Corporation for a flawed test for the genetic disease cystic fibrosis. The failures of the test led a set of parents to have a second cystic child. While recovering a substantial settlement for the family, the firm and the family were more concerned with the discontinuation of the test. As a result of our efforts, the test was eliminated.