30 months for smuggler of Roche cancer drugs which lacked API

By Dan Stanton

- Last updated on GMT

Second man receives sentence for smuggling counterfeit drugs
Second man receives sentence for smuggling counterfeit drugs

Related tags Pharmaceutical drug

A second man has received a prison sentence after counterfeit vials of a Roche cancer drug containing no API were seized in 2012.

Sabahhadin Akman, the owner of Turkish firm Ozay Pharmaceuticals, has been sentenced to 30 months in prison and fined $150,000 (€133,000) for his part in the smuggling of counterfeit drugs into the US.

Akman admitted to selling counterfeit Altuzan (bevacizumab) - the Turkish version of Roche’s blockbuster oncology drug Avastin – which entered the US supply chain in 2012.

While Avastin is the approved brand of bevacizumab in the US, and thus even legitimate Altuzan is illegal, vials seized from US physicians and customers by the FDA’s Office of Criminal Investigations (OCI) in 2012​ found no active pharmaceutical ingredients (APIs) present.

The sentencing follows that of Akman’s business partner and alleged ‘Foreign Trade Director’ of a Turkish drug wholesaler, Ozkan Semizoglu, who recently received 27 months for smuggling the counterfeit and misbranded products.

“The serious public health impact of counterfeit cancer medications in the supply chain compelled the FDA to mobilize resources throughout the country to track down the US wholesalers and medical practices that had purchased this illegal product,”​ said Philip Walskey, acting director of OCI. 

Related news

Show more

Related products

show more

Increasing the Bioavailability of Oncology Drugs

Increasing the Bioavailability of Oncology Drugs

Content provided by Lonza Small Molecules | 13-Nov-2023 | White Paper

Oral tyrosine kinase inhibitors (TKIs) are a class of cancer drugs that can be highly susceptible to issues with solubility in the gastrointestinal tract

Efficient Freezing & Storage of Biopharmaceuticals

Efficient Freezing & Storage of Biopharmaceuticals

Content provided by Single Use Support | 06-Nov-2023 | White Paper

Various options exist for freezing biopharmaceutical bulk material, but selecting the most effective and efficient approach for each cold chain can be...

Manufacturing Drugs with Highly Potent APIs

Manufacturing Drugs with Highly Potent APIs

Content provided by Altasciences | 28-Sep-2023 | White Paper

In this issue of The Altascientist, we examine the critical considerations for the safe and compliant manufacture of drugs with highly potent APIs (HPAPIs),...