It could be the ultimate in placebo drugs. Procrit (epoetin alfa), an injectable drug for treating anaemics, is being copied and sold to hospitals and pharmacies.
The packaging looks authentic enough – but the contents are pure water. The scam, which is happening in the USA, has come to the attention of the Food and Drug Administration (FDA), who are concerned that the counterfeiters are not working in a sterile environment, and so the water could be contaminated.
Quite how the counterfeiters are getting in on the supply loop is unclear, and the FDA doesn’t know if other drugs are also being replaced by water.
A sudden drop-off in the rate of drug adverse reactions may provide the clue.
(Source: FDA web site).