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U.S. Department of Health and Human Services

For Consumers

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Important information about counterfeit EPOGEN


Amgen, in cooperation with the FDA, notified pharmacists and health care providers of counterfeit EPOGEN (epoetin alfa). Epogen is used to treat the anemia that some patients with HIV/AIDS experience while taking zidovudine, commonly called AZT.

EPOGEN 40,000 U/mL vials in ten-pack boxes, lot number P002970 expiration date: 7/03 has been found to contain active ingredient that is approximately 20 times lower than would be expected for EPOGEN in 40,000 U/mL vials. Pharmacists and health care providers should carefully examine all vials of EPOGEN before use. A brief description and pictures of the differences between the actual product and the counterfeit are provided.

For more information, read the MedWatch 2002 Safety Summary, including photos and a link to the " Dear Healthcare Professional" letter, at:

Richard Klein
Office of Special Health Issues
Food and Drug Administration