The LEADERs Guide for HealthCare Pros

Usually when healthcare professionals think about patients getting counterfeit drugs, they assume the patient ordered a drug from a foreign website pharmacy that's nothing more than an online front for counterfeiters. However, in early February the US Food and Drug Administration announced that it had discovered an unlicensed supplier selling fake Bevacizumab injectables (under the brand name Avastin) to oncology practices. Later, press reports mention that the manufacturer tested some of the vials, and the fake product contained salt, starch and other chemicals including citrate, isopropanol, propandiol, t-butanol, benzoic acid, di-fluorinated benzene, acetone and phthalate moiety but none of the active ingredient.

This event has highlighted the need for healthcare professionals of all types, not just pharmacists, to be aware of proper procedures for safely sourcing medication for patients. We encourage all healthcare professionals to look at material published by Partnership for Safe Medicines (PSM), a group of over non-profit groups that have policies and procedures in place to prevent counterfeit medicines from reaching patients.

They have published resources to help healthcare professionals learn about and adopt better medication sourcing practices. You can find them at PSM's website:

• For nurses • For physicians • For pharmacists