FDA Warns Public Regarding Stolen Advair Diskus Inhalers

Inhalers stolen from distribution warehouse in 2009 recently found in some pharmacies
By Beth Gilbert
HealthDay Reporter

MONDAY, July 19 (HealthDay News) -- The U.S. Food and Drug Administration issued a warning to consumers, pharmacists, and wholesalers that certain lots of Advair Diskus (fluticasone propionate and salmeterol inhalation powder) inhalers were stolen from a GlaxoSmithKline distribution warehouse near Richmond, Virginia, in August 2009 and have recently been found in some pharmacies.

The Advair Diskus inhalers discovered recently were the first from the stolen lots to be found on the market and should not be used, as the safety and efficacy of these inhalers cannot be guaranteed. More stolen inhalers may still be on the market and the FDA continues to aggressively investigate the issue.

The stolen Advair Diskus inhalers include 14,400 inhalers from lot 9ZP2255 - NDC 0173-0696-00 (Advair Diskus 250/50, 60 Dose, Exp: Sep 2010) and 11,200 inhalers from lot 9ZP3325 - NDC 0173-0697-00 (Advair Diskus 500/50, 60 Dose, Exp: Sep 2010). The FDA recommends that patients who have inhalers with these lot numbers should discontinue use and contact GlaxoSmithKline's Customer Response Center at 888-825-5249 as well as their physician or pharmacist for a replacement. In addition, pharmacists and wholesalers who have inhalers in stock with these lot numbers should remove them from their shelves and contact the FDA's Office of Criminal Investigations at 800-551-3989.

According to the FDA safety alert, "stolen medicine may be harmful because it may have been stored at the wrong temperature or humidity or other improper conditions, may degrade or lose potency, become contaminated, or may have been tampered with or handled improperly while outside of the legitimate supply chain."

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