THE Food and Drug Administration yesterday warned the public against the use of counterfeit anti-rabies vaccines that pose potential danger or injury to its users.
The FDA issued the warning after the Department of Health endorsed the matter to the FDA’s Regulatory Enforcement Unit and coordinated with all hospitals about the sale of VERORAB, a counterfeit anti-rabies vaccine.
“We have also requested all local government units and law enforcement agencies to ensure that this counterfeit product is not sold or made available in their localities or areas of jurisdiction,” FDA Director General Nela Charade Puno said.
The fake drug, originally manufactured by Sanofi Pasteur, does not contain in its label the FDA-licensed Philippine importer and distributor, FDA Registration Number (BR-514), Rx symbol, FDA caution statement on dispensing, and Bar Code.
The Medical City, in its complaint, identified the distributor of the fake anti-rabies vaccine as Geramil Trading with address at 890 Purok 4, Longos, Calumpit, Bulacan and owned by Genesis Bernardo.
The FDA dispatched a team to The Medical City and was able to acquire copies of the transaction with Geramil Trading.
Medical City legal counsel Samuel Capongan Jr. earlier requested for a verification about VERORAB anti-rabies vaccine products.
The counterfeit VERORAB pre-filled syringes have numbers starting at Lot N1E353 M while the fake vials Lot H-7720 and H1833.
Zuellig Pharma, the registered exclusive distributor of VERORAB in the Philippines, said the counterfeit VERORAB product with Lot No. H1833 did not come from them while representatives from Sanofi Pasteur said the Certificate of Product Registration submitted by Bernardo was also fake.
FDA teams are scouring different hospitals in Pampanga and Bulacan who may have procured the counterfeit vaccines from Geramil Trading.