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5/17/2002

Counterfeit Serostim Again Hits Market

Kate Traynor

Serono Inc. announced yesterday that a third counterfeit lot of the company's recombinant somatropin product, Serostim, recently surfaced in the United States.

According to a company press release, the latest counterfeit material bears an invalid Serono lot number, S810-1A1, and may have been distributed through the Internet. Serono has nonetheless cautioned bricks-and-mortar pharmacies to check their stocks of the injectable somatropin product to ensure that the counterfeit material is not dispensed to patients.

Twice last year, Serono similarly warned health care providers about the existence of counterfeit somatropin for injection. As in the current incident, the company stated that the vials in question contained a material that was neither made nor distributed by Serono.

Serostim is indicated for the treatment of AIDS wasting syndrome, or cachexia. Serono has asked patients who have questions about the product to telephone the company at 888-275-7376.