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J&J's Procrit Anemia Drug Found to Be Diluted

June 08, 2002|From Bloomberg News

Johnson & Johnson said some of its Procrit anemia treatment was found diluted to greatly reduce the amount of active medicine in the solution, the latest in a string of drug counterfeiting incidents reported in the U.S. this year.

Johnson & Johnson sent a letter Thursday to health-care professionals warning of one suspect lot number, P002641, and posted it on the drug's Web site at www .procrit.com. The Food and Drug Administration also posted the letter on the Internet to help warn doctors and pharmacists about the counterfeiting.

Amgen Inc., which licenses Procrit to J&J, last month reported finding counterfeit lots of its Epogen anemia drug that also had been greatly diluted. The FDA is investigating the Procrit and Epogen tamperings, said Carol Goodrich, a Johnson & Johnson spokeswoman. The Procrit problem was discovered in Texas.

"We're working very closely with the FDA, Amgen, health officials in Texas and all other parties that are investigating this," Goodrich said.

Other counterfeiting incidents reported this year include cases in which bottles of Eli Lilly & Co.'s Zyprexa schizophrenia drug were switched for aspirin.

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