Life-threatening counterfeit diabetes test strips were discovered in India, five years after similar fakes were discovered in the U.S. Officials believe the fakes were manufactured in China and packaged with false labeling in India for intranational distribution.

Johnson & Johnson spokesman David Detmers told the Wall Street Journal that they believe the fake strips were manufactured in China and repackaged in counterfeit packaging in India. The products were made to resemble OneTouch Ultra blood-glucose test strips; however the fake products lacked the OneTouch trademark printed on the test strips.

Overall the company believes the impact of the fake strips is very minimal, representing a small percentage of total OneTouch strips available in India.

The first discovery of counterfeit test strips, which are used with meters to help diabetes monitor blood-sugar levels, was in the U.S. in 2006. Thousands of fake products were seized in the U.S. case. J&J says that there has been no evidence of fake OneTouch strips in the U.S. in the past three years, however fakes in other countries are still sometimes available, including some in Egypt in 2010 and in Pakistan in 2009, reports the Wall Street Journal.

Indian police arrested three men in connection with the fake strips in New Delhi. The Drugs Controller General of India and Customs is making efforts to prevent fake test strips from entering India.

By S. Imber