FDA warns against fake rabies vaccine

The Food and Drugs Administration (FDA) warned the public against a fake rabies vaccine being offered in commercial establishments and even on the Internet.

The FDA and Novartis Philippines confirmed the illegally imported and unregistered Purified Chick Embryo Cell (Rabipur) Rabies vaccines on sale in clinics and other drug outlets.

In its advisory, the FDA said it obtained a complaint sample of the counterfeit Rabipur Rabies vaccine in Tabuk City in Kalinga.

"Rabies vaccine is given to people who are at high risk of exposurre to rabies or to a person after they have been exposed to activate their immunization against rabies. vaccines are sensitive biological substances that can lose their potency and effectiveness if they are exposed to temperatures outside the temperature range of +2 degrees celsius to +8 degrees celsius or when exposed to light. Proper handling and storage should be exercised to assure product's safety, efficacy, and quality. However, there is no assurance of safety, efficacy and quality of counterfeit vacccines," FDA Acting Director General Dr. Kenneth Hartigan-Go  said in the FDA advisory no. 2013-061.

"All healthcare providers and consumers are hereby advised to obtain and use only registered rabies vaccine from legitimate sources to prevent any serious outcome such as treatment failure which can lead to acute progression of the disease and eventually, death," he added.

The FDA warned against importation, distribution or sale of any unregistered drug product.

Violators will face sanctions and penalties under RA 3720 or Republic Act 9711 or the Food and Drug Administration Act of 2009 and RA 8203 or the Special law on Counterfeit drugs.