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11/10/2003

Wholesalers Recall Counterfeit Kaletra, Lipitor, Zyprexa

Cheryl A. Thompson

Add four more companies to the growing list of wholesalers recalling bottles of prescriptions medications that turned out to be counterfeits of well-known brands.

The Nov. 5 "Enforcement Report" from the Food and Drug Administration included the following notices about counterfeit products:

  • Kaletra-brand bottles of 33.3-mg ritonavir and 133.3-mg lopinavir capsules, recalled by Mid Atlantic Customer Support Center in Perryman, Md., and Midwest Drug Supply LLC, whose location was not reported,
  • Lipitor-brand bottles of 10-mg atorvastatin tablets, recalled by QK Healthcare Inc. in Ronkonkoma, N.Y., and
  • Zyprexa-brand bottles of 5-, 10-, and 20-mg olanzapine tablets, recalled by Rochester Drug Cooperative Inc. in Rochester, N.Y.

Within the past few months, Louisiana-based Morris & Dickson Co. Ltd. and Michigan-based The Harvard Drug Group LLC recalled counterfeit Kaletra capsules, and St. Louis-based D&K Health Resources Inc. recalled counterfeit Zyprexa tablets.

In the summer, Albers Medical Distributors Inc. in Missouri and Smith Wholesale Drug Co. in Illinois recalled counterfeit Lipitor tablets that the companies had bought from Med-Pro Inc., a repackaging firm in Nebraska. The current recall by QK Healthcare involves 5,000-count bottles whose contents could be repackaged into smaller containers and distributed to pharmacies or dispensed to patients.

Kaletra, Lipitor, and Zyprexa are the brand names of pharmaceuticals by GlaxoSmithKline, Pfizer Inc., and Eli Lilly and Co., respectively.