March 27, 2009 / 2:30 PM / 10 years ago

UPDATE 1-UK discovers counterfeit Novo Nordisk insulin pens

* Patients told not to use needles from counterfeit batch

* Find is latest case of bogus medicines in supply chain

(Adds details, background)

LONDON, March 27 (Reuters) - Britain’s medicines watchdog said on Friday it had discovered a batch of counterfeit Novo Nordisk (NOVOb.CO) insulin pen needles circulating in the country and urged diabetics not to use them.

The counterfeit batch is Novofine Needles 31G (0.25mm x 6mm) with the lot number 08J02S, the Medicines and Healthcare Products Regulatory Agency (MHRA) said in a statement.

“The possible consequences of using these counterfeit needles could include adverse reactions; pain and discomfort; infection and difficulty in attaching the needle to the pen injection device,” it added.

The discovery is the latest example of fake medicines turning up in the supply chain and highlights the lucrative returns for criminals in passing off bogus treatments as genuine.

In recent years the MHRA has also found a number of counterfeit of batches of top-selling drugs, including Pfizer’s (PFE.N) cholesterol fighter Lipitor and Sanofi-Aventis’ (SASY.PA) blood-thinner Plavix. (Reporting by Ben Hirschler; Editing by David Holmes)

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