Gilead Sciences released a statement saying that counterfeit versions of its HIV treatments, Biktarvy and Descovy, are being sold at U.S. pharmacies.
Biktarvy is used as a once-daily form of HIV treatment. Meanwhile, Descovy is used for HIV preexposure prophylaxis and treatment. In the statement, the company shared that distributors not authorized by Gilead are selling bogus versions of these medications. According to Reuters, the tampered tablets are being sold in genuine Gilead bottles with fake foil induction seals or labels.
Gilead is working with the FDA, pharmacies, and legal authorities to remove the counterfeit medications, according to Pharmacy Practice News.
“The safety of individuals taking Gilead medication is always our first priority,” said Merdad Parsey, MD, PhD, Gilead’s chief medical officer. “We are taking aggressive action to ensure that healthcare providers and people who rely on our medicines can confidently distinguish authentic Gilead products from counterfeit drugs.”
Gilead also noted distinguishing features of authentic Biktarvy and Descovy tablets. Gilead explained that Biktarvy tablets are “purplish-brown, capsule-shaped pills with ‘9883’ on one side and ‘GSI’ on the other.”
Meanwhile, authentic Descovy tablets are blue and rectangular with ‘225’ on one side and ‘GSI’ on the other.
Anyone who finds or is sold a fake bottle of these Gilead medications is recommended to report the pills to their doctors, pharmacy, and/or Gilead directly.