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FDA Warns Public of Fake Biogesic and Bioflu Tablets; Here’s How to Spot Fake Paracetamol





The Food and Drug Administration (FDA) of the Philippines has released a warning to healthcare professionals and to the public on Friday against the purchase and use of verified counterfeit Biogesic and Bioflu tablets in the market.

In two separate advisories, FDA shared photos comparing authentic tablets from counterfeit or fake ones of the following drug products:

Phenylephrine HCI/ Chlorphenamine Maleate/ Paracetamol (Bioflu®) 10mg/2mg/500mg Film Coated Tablet

Authentic vs. Counterfeit Secondary Packaging (karton)




Authentic vs. Counterfeit Primary Packaging (blister pack)

Source: FDA Advisory No. 2022-0134-A




Paracetamol (Biogesic®) 500 mg Tablet  – FDA Advisory No. 2022-0135-A

According to FDA, health professionals and the public must be vigilant about the rampant sale of fake drug products because of the possible harmful health effects it may cause. The public is advised to only purchase medicines from FDA-licensed drugstores and retailers to assure the authenticity of the products.

Pharmaceutical company Unilab has also shared tips on how to do an authenticity check and spot fake tablets.




How to Spot Fake Bioflu Tablets

Below are physical characteristics you should be checking to know if your Bioflu tablets are authentic.

  • Tablet color
    • Fake Bioflu tablets appear brighter or paler than the actual color
  • Engraving
    • Thicker or bolder engraving on the tablet can be observed on fake tablets
  • Product Pocket
    • Bioflu tablets should fit well into their cavity compared to fake ones where there is a bigger cavity and space. The product pocket should also have a rounded shape and not be square-edged.
  • Foil color
    • Authentic Bioflu blister packs come in light blue color with a matte finish. Fake Bioflu tablets use a darker shade color with glossy finish.
  • Foil Text
    • Authentic- See photo below for actual size and thickness; “Tamper resistant” clause is aligned to the lower part of Unilab logo
    • Fake – Text is thinner; “Tamper resistant” clause is aligned to the middle part of Unilab logo




How to Spot Fake Biogesic

For Biogesic tablets, below are the physical characteristics you should check to spot fake ones:

  • Tablet color
    • Fake ones appear brighter or paler than authentic tablets
  • Product pocket
    • Authentic tablets fit well into its cavity compared to fakes ones where they usually have a bigger cavity and more space
  • Pattern
    • Authentic Biogesic should have a diamond pattern blister pack.
  • Foil Color
    • Foil color of fake Biogesic tablets is lighter or darker than the standard color.
  • Unilab seal watermark
    • The Unilab seal watermark should be rendered as watermark and can only be seen at certain angles. In fake Biogesic tablets, the seal of Unilab is clearly visible and appears in grey or white color.




Verify and Report

FDA also warned establishments against purchasing, distributing, and selling counterfeit products, which is a violation of RA 9711 or the Food and Drug Administration Act of 2009 and RA 8203 or the Special Law on Counterfeit Drugs.

FDA and Unilab advise their customers to report sellers of fake Bioflu and Biogesic tablets in the market through the following channels:

  • Unilab Hotline and Email
  • FDA Hotline and Email

SOURCES: FDA, Unilab

 



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