Spot Fake Drugs

Fake DEFITELIO (defibrotide) On The Market WHO Warns

The World Health Organization (WHO) has raised a serious warning about a fake liver medicine called DEFITELIO (defibrotide) being sold in India and Turkey.

The WHO is saying that there is one specific batch of DEFITELIO (defibrotide sodium) that is fake. This fake medicine was discovered in India in April 2023 and in Turkey in July 2023. It wasn’t distributed through the proper and authorized channels.

This medicine is used to treat a severe liver condition called hepatic veno-occlusive disease (VOD), which can also be known as sinusoidal obstructive syndrome (SOS). It’s used during a specific type of treatment called haematopoietic stem-cell transplantation (HSCT). It’s supposed to help adults, teenagers, children, and even infants over one month old. VOD makes the veins in the liver get blocked, causing the liver to not work properly.

The WHO confirmed with the real manufacturer of DEFITELIO that the medicine mentioned in their warning is indeed fake.

The real manufacturer said that the real DEFITELIO, with Lot 20G20A, comes in packaging from Germany or Austria. But the fake ones are in packaging from the UK or Ireland. The expiration date on the fake medicine is not correct, and the serial number doesn’t match batch 20G20A. Also, this medicine doesn’t have permission to be sold in India and Turkey.

This is not the first time the WHO has warned about this fake medicine. They did it before in May 2020 when they found it being sold in other countries like Argentina, Australia, Latvia, Malaysia, and Saudi Arabia.

The problem with this fake medicine is that it doesn’t work as it should, and it can even be dangerous because it’s given through an IV. In some cases, it might even be life-threatening, as the WHO warned.

The WHO doesn’t know of any bad reactions to this fake DEFITELIO yet, but they don’t know if it’s safe or not. They’re asking people to be careful and not use this medicine.

Even though the health ministry didn’t have anything to say about it, some officials are looking into the situation. It’s too early for them to say anything, though, as reported by HT. But the WHO keeps telling doctors and the public not to buy or use this medicine.

The WHO says, “If you or someone you know has used this fake medicine and had a bad reaction or unexpected side effects, you should go see a doctor right away. Doctors should tell the authorities about it. And if any country’s health authorities find this fake medicine, they should tell the WHO about it too.” They’re also asking people who might know something about where this fake medicine comes from to contact them at The WHO’s advice is to only buy drugs and medical products from authorized and licensed sellers.


Dr. Oche Otorkpa PG Cert, MPH, PhD

Dr. Oche is a seasoned Public Health specialist who holds a post graduate certificate in Pharmacology and Therapeutics, an MPH, and a PhD both from Texila American University. He is a member of the International Society of Substance Use Professionals and a Fellow of the Royal Society for Public Health in the UK. He authored two books: "The Unseen Terrorist," published by AuthorHouse UK, and "The Night Before I Killed Addiction."

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