Lipitor accounts for worldwide sales of more than $10 billion. The drug is prescribed to patients diagnosed as having an increased risk of cardiovascular disease and diabetes and those with angina and high blood pressure.
Recently while conducting raids at some wholesale locations British authorities unearthed spurious packets of Pfizer's blockbuster cholesterol drug Lipitor . Officials are also contacting 20,000 pharmacy (retailers and wholesalers) in the country and is recalling all that remains of a 120,000-packet batch 004405K1. Each packet containing 28 x 20mg pills.
The seized packets were tested in a lab and were found to be fake, containing a different statin not currently marketed in Britain. It is not sure how many patients would have taken the fake drug and of its impact however it is said that there is no immediate risk to the health of the individuals.
Pfizer officials reacted to the seizure saying, it is alarmed at the discovery and that the drugs would have reached Britain through parallel trade, whereby drugs are shipped around Europe to exploit price differences. The company urged for new measures like outlawing the repackaging of original manufacturers' medicines and introduction of tamper-resistant medicine packaging and standardised European bar code for medicines.
The head of the intelligence agency in UK has said that UK's supply chain is one of the most difficult to penetrate because of the safeguards that are in place. However they say that they will continue to maintain such vigilance and keep improving their anti-counterfeit methods to protect the public and stay ahead of the criminals.