Sector News

Johnson & Johnson follows Gilead with lawsuit targeting alleged HIV drug counterfeiters

April 30, 2022
Life sciences

Often in court and on the defense, Johnson & Johnson is playing the plaintiff role in a lawsuit aimed at distributors and pharmacies who have allegedly been selling counterfeit HIV medicines.

In a suit unveiled on Tuesday, J&J claims that some products labeled as HIV treatments contained different HIV drugs or in at least one case included a drug to treat conditions such as schizophrenia and bipolar disorder.

The action follows a similar lawsuit from Gilead Sciences—filed in July of last year and unsealed in January—which claimed a network of distributors sold more than $250 million in counterfeit versions of its HIV drugs, mostly Biktarvy and Descovy.

In the J&J suit, the company says it was alerted to the counterfeit drugs through customer complaints and from the voluntary return of hundreds of bottles of counterfeit drugs from ProPharma Distribution. J&J filed its lawsuit earlier this month.

ProPharma is one of the defendants named, along with Safe Chain Solutions, Scripts Wholesale and I Care Pharmacy 14. J&J is seeking $25 million in damages from each of the defendants and for them to be banned from selling any of the company’s products.

In addition to J&J and Gilead conducting their own investigations, The Wall Street Journal recently reported that the U.S. government has been looking into the matter since late last year. The federal probe also includes counterfeit versions of HIV drugs produced by GlaxoSmithKline.

In its filing, Gilead revealed that its investigation uncovered evidence that many of its drugs were bought from homeless or drug-addicted HIV patients and resold using false documentation. Gilead’s probe turned up more than 85,000 counterfeit bottles or fake documentation of their sale.

J&J has already faced (PDF) a counterfeiting issue, warning patients and distributors about fake versions of its HIV drug Symtuza.

By Kevin Dunleavy


comments closed

Related News

January 29, 2023

Colorcon, Inc. signs Put agreement with intent to acquire controlled atmosphere packaging specialist Airnov Healthcare Packaging

Life sciences

Airnov provides critical healthcare industries with high-quality, controlled atmosphere packaging, to protect their products from moisture and oxygen. The business has manufacturing facilities in the USA, France, China and India and employs around 700 people.

January 29, 2023

Takeda pledges up to $1.13B for rights to Hutchmed’s cancer drug fruquintinib outside of China

Life sciences

Takeda of Japan has partnered with Hong Kong-based Hutchmed, gaining the commercial rights to colorectal cancer drug fruquintinib outside of China for $400 million up front, plus $730 million in potential milestone payments. Takeda also will help develop fruquintinib, which can be applied to subtypes of refractory metastatic colorectal cancer, regardless of biomarker status, the companies said.

January 29, 2023

Vir taps Bayer dealmaker Marianne De Backer as its next CEO

Life sciences

On April 3, Scangos, who’s been chief executive officer at Vir since the start of 2017, will hand over the reins to Marianne De Backer, Ph.D. De Backer comes over from Bayer, where she currently heads up pharmaceutical strategy, business development and licensing. Alongside her CEO appointment, De Backer is set to join Vir’s board of directors, the company said Wednesday.

How can we help you?

We're easy to reach