FDA issues warning on stolen Advair Diskus inhalers

August 17, 2010

Certain lots of Advair Diskus (fluticasone propionate and salmeterol inhalation powder) inhalers that were stolen from a GlaxoSmithKline (GSK) distribution warehouse near Richmond, Va., in August 2009 have recently been found in some pharmacies, according to FDA.

Certain lots of Advair Diskus (fluticasone propionate and salmeterol inhalation powder) inhalers that were stolen from a GlaxoSmithKline (GSK) distribution warehouse near Richmond, Va., in August 2009 have recently been found in some pharmacies, according to FDA.

They are the first from the stolen lots to be found on the market and should not be used, as the safety and efficacy of the inhalers cannot be guaranteed, FDA said. More stolen inhalers may still be on the market, and FDA continues to aggressively investigate the issue, the agency said in a statement.

The stolen Advair Diskus inhalers include 14,400 inhalers from lot 9ZP2255 – NDC 0173-0696-00 (Advair Diskus 250/50, 60 Dose, Exp: Sep 2010) and 11,200 inhalers from lot 9ZP3325 – NDC 0173-0697-00 (Advair Diskus 500/50, 60 Dose, Exp: Sep 2010).

Pharmacists and wholesalers with inhalers in stock with these lot numbers should remove them from their shelves and contact the FDA’s Office of Criminal Investigations at 800-551-3989. FDA recommends that patients who have inhalers with these lot numbers stop using them and notify GSK’s Customer Response Center at 888-825-5249, as well as contact their physicians or pharmacists for a replacement.

According to FDA’s safety alert, stolen medicine may be harmful because it may have been stored at the wrong temperature or humidity or other improper conditions, may degrade or lose potency, may become contaminated, or may have been tampered with or handled improperly while outside the legitimate supply chain.