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Volume 2 Published - 14:00 UTC    08:00 EST    24-January-2001      
Issue 24 Next Update - 14:00 UTC 08:00 EST    25-January-2001      

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Back To Vidyya Warning:

Counterfeit Version Of Popular AIDS Wasting Drug Appearing In Pharmacies


Serono, Inc., in cooperation with the US Food and Drug Administration (FDA), is informing patients, physicians and distributing pharmacies about a counterfeit version of Serono’s SerostimÒ 6mg [somatropin (rDNA origin) for injection]. Serostim® is approved for the treatment of AIDS wasting.

Unlike genuine SerostimÒ 6mg, the counterfeit product is of unknown safety and efficacy and may pose a health risk to patients. The counterfeit product, which is definitely not SerostimÒ , was neither manufactured nor distributed by Serono.

Serono recently became aware of the existence of the counterfeit drug. Serono has issued a "Notification of Potential Counterfeit Product" to wholesalers, pharmacists, physicians and AIDS service organizations to alert them, in an effort to prevent patients currently undergoing SerostimÒ therapy from receiving the counterfeit product. The counterfeit product has been packaged to appear as drug product lot number MNK612A and is readily distinguishable from authentic SerostimÒ by the following features:

Features of Counterfeit lot #MNK612A

7-Pack Box:

  • Expiration Date: "08/02"
  • A separate dark blue label is affixed to one end of the carton. The lot number and expiration date are printed on the label in white lettering.

Features of Authentic lot #MNK612A


  • Expiration Date: "08/01"
  • A dark blue box is printed directly on one end of the carton. The lot number and expiration date are printed on the dark blue box in white lettering. (There is no label affixed to the carton.)

Serostim® Vial:

  • Expiration Date: "08/02"
  • Label has straight cut corners
  • Contains white, powdery "snow-like" substance and is sometimes stuck to the stopper.


  • Expiration Date: "08/01"
  • Label has slightly rounded corners
  • Product is white lyophilized "cake", approximately 1/8" thick at the bottom of the vial.

Diluent Vial:

  • Lot #: "99h124"
  • Expiration Date: "08/02"


  • Lot #: "99H124"
  • Expiration Date: "06/02"

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Editor: Susan K. Boyer, RN
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