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Gilead says counterfeiting network sold $250 mln worth of its HIV drugs

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Jan 18 (Reuters) - Gilead Sciences Inc said on Tuesday that tampered and counterfeit versions of its HIV treatments worth $250 million were sold to pharmacies over two years by a network of drug distributors and suppliers.

The drugmaker said in August that distributors not authorized by Gilead to sell its HIV treatments, Biktarvy and Descovy, have sold counterfeits to pharmacies where genuine Gilead bottles have been tampered with a counterfeit foil induction seal or label and contain incorrect tablets.

"After becoming aware of counterfeit Gilead HIV medication being distributed we notified federal law enforcement authorities, including the FDA, as well as dispensing pharmacies, and then took direct and urgent legal action," a Gilead spokesperson said on Tuesday.

Gilead said the distributors, against whom it had filed a lawsuit, had sold 85,247 bottles of counterfeit HIV drugs.

(Reporting by Manas Mishra in Bengaluru; Editing by Amy Caren Daniel)