Phony Harvoni spurs new packaging in Japan

Gilead Sciences in Japan has decided to change the packaging of Sovaldi and Harvoni in that country. The direct-acting antivirals will now be sold in blister packs rather than bottles, which would make it harder for counterfeiters to scam patients who have hepatitis C.

This comes soon after Japan’s  health ministry announced that phony Harvoni tablets had  been found in drugstores in Nara Prefecture. The false drugs were sold in three stores, all part of the same drug store chain. The bogus Harvoni  tablets were discovered when a patient questioned the odd shape of the pills, which were different in colour and shape from the standard orange Harvoni tablets. The bad pills had been placed in actual Harvoni bottles.

Gilead has investigated the counterfeit drugs and has announced they have not caused any health problems. But presumably there were no cures. That must have been extremely disheartening to patients who took the phony pills. It’s almost worse than not being able to afford the real ones.

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