May 27, 2007

UK Issues Warning About Fake Zyprexa 10mg Tablets

The United Kingdom (UK) Medicines and Healthcare products Regulatory Agency (MHRA), an executive agency of the Department of Health in the UK, has issued a press release warning its citizens using Zyprexa (olanzapine) of the existence of three counterfeit batches of Zyprexa 10 mg tablets. Be on the look-out for the following batch numbers, (or one of these numbers with a prefix or suffix):

  • A229505
  • A200127
  • A216454
Here is what the MHRA has to say:

The MHRA has issued a drug alert to recall this product from the market, to minimise the risk to patients. To date, it is believed that two of the batches have reached patient level. We take this very seriously and a criminal investigation is being carried out.

Patients should contact their pharmacist as soon as possible, if they are taking medication from the following; Zyprexa (Olanzapine) 10mg tablets with the batch numbers A229505, A200127, A216454 (or one of these numbers with a prefix or suffix). They should take their medication with them so their pharmacist can return it to Eli Lilly (the manufacturer) for examination. At present there is no evidence of patients having any adverse reactions specifically related to the counterfeit batches. Patients should consult their GP if they have any treatment or health concerns.

Patients with concerns can contact Eli Lilly on 0800 032 0741.

Notes from the MHRA:

1. Zyprexa contains the active ingredient called Olanzapine. Zyprexa belongs to a group of medicines called antipsychotics. It is indicated in the treatment for schizophrenia and bipolar disorder. Zyprexa is centrally licensed by the European Medicines Agency (EMEA) and we are working in conjunction with them. Eli Lilly is the licence holder. Zyprexa (Olanzapine) is licensed by the EMEA and was licensed on 27 September 1996.

2. The MHRA was informed by Eli Lilly. Eli Lilly was informed by a company who prints labelling for their products, after a repackager had contacted them after becoming suspicious.

3. One person has been arrested and is on bail. They have not yet been charged. MHRA investigatory enquiries are continuing.

4. The initial laboratory tests on the seized counterfeits show that the samples contain approximately 60% of the labelled active ingredient. A counterfeit may also contain harmful ingredients. Work is ongoing to obtain more information about any additional ingredients in these counterfeit tablets, but in the interim we have issued a recall to minimise patient risk.

Thanks goes to Tim^ for bringing this warning to our attention.


How on earth did these guys not realise that this was going on. Isn't there some sort of quality control inspector, that takes a random sample from individual batches? I think two entities are to blame here. Lilly for being rather incompetent and the criminals who have been getting away with this chemical cutting.
In Ireland there was an incident in Saint Patricks Hospital were armed men came in and stole a large amount of psychiatric medicine. Obviously there is some street worth to these drugs.
Though someone probably figured that 'cutting' olanzapine actually had more market value.

Posted by: Anon at May 28, 2007 12:58 PM

Using medication of batch No. A314937

Patient's condition reversed since last 3 weeks she is being detriorated.

Doubt about the above batch also.

Posted by: Suri at November 5, 2007 03:01 AM

Post a comment

Please enter this code to enable your comment -
Remember Me?
(you may use HTML tags for style)
* indicates required