Johnson & Johnson has tracked fake versions of its OneTouch at-home diabetes tests to China. Bloomberg reports:
Tipped off by J&J, the U.S. Food and Drug Administration issued a nationwide consumer alert in October without disclosing the link to China. While no injuries were reported, inaccurate test readings may lead a diabetic to inject the wrong amount of insulin, causing harm or death, the agency said. Fake medicines are a $32 billion global business, says the World Health Organization, and the FDA says it ran 54 counterfeit investigations in 2006, almost double the year before.
The court filings disclose, for the first time, that China is the source of about one million phony test strips that have turned up in at least 35 states and in Canada, Greece, India, Pakistan, the Philippines, Saudi Arabia, and Turkey.
The court documents reveal, also for the first time, a worldwide distribution chain discovered in the past year by investigators hired by Johnson & Johnson. The trail, initiated by consumer complaints to a LifeScan hotline, first led detectives to 700 pharmacies where the products were sold, then to eight U.S. wholesalers, and then to two importers, one in the U.S., who was tracked down in a hotel room in Las Vegas, and another in Canada.
Records seized from the importers show the counterfeit strips were bought from Henry Fu and his company, Halson Pharmaceutical, which according to its Internet site is based in Shanghai.
Read on for all the details at Bloomberg…