What: The National Bureau of Investigation in the Philippines caught a former medical sales representative selling fake Vaxigrip – a flu vaccine – throughout the country.
When: July 28, 2009
Where: The Philippines, including the cities of Manila and Makati, as well as the Laguna province.
Who: Sanofi Pasteur, Sanofi-Aventis Group
According to ABS-CBN News, agents of the Philippines’ National Bureau of Investigation (NBI) arrested a former medical sales representative for distributing fake flu vaccines labeled with the brand name Vaxigrip. NBI officials seized P4 million in fake vials, which were filled with mineral water.
Vaxigrip is manufactured by the French pharmaceutical company Sanofi Pasteur, of which the accused, Jennifer Cristobal, was a former sales representative. The Philippines Inquirer noted that the NBI raided Cristobal’s home following a complaint filed by Sanofi Pasteur, which had received information of people illegally manufacturing, distributing and selling counterfeit Vaxigrip. NBI officials have learned that Cristobal sold “thousands of vials in various drugstores” throughout the Philippines, including the cities of Manila and Makati.
The Inquirer reported that on July 21, NBI agents began surveillance of several suspects and “later discovered that Cristobal was behind the sale, manufacture and distribution” of the counterfeit vials using her home-based companies, KNJ Marketing and Prime Gold Enterprises.
The NBI also discovered that Cristobal had been selling the fake anti-flu shots at P3,000 a piece; genuine Vaxigrip is sold at P4,000 a piece.
On July 29, the Philippines’ Bureau of Food and Drugs (BFAD) warned the public and drugstore owners to use extreme caution when buying Vaxigrip, as well as other drugs and vaccines, and reminded drugstore owners to buy medications only from BFAD-licensed sources.
At the time of its report, the Inquirer noted that Cristobal remained in custody pending the filing of charges in violation of a law against counterfeit drugs, known as Republic Act 8230.
“NBI nabs medrep selling fake Sanofi flu vaccines,” ABS-CBN News, the Philippines. July 28, 2009.
“P4-M fake flu vaccine seized; woman held,” Philippines Inquirer. July 29, 2009.
“BFAD warns public vs flu vaccine imitation,” Philippines Inquirer. July 29, 2009.