Archive for February 2011

U.K. Chemist Convicted for Drug Counterfeiting

A University College London organic chemistry lecturer was convicted for creating and selling counterfeit medication in the United Kingdom. The Independent reports that chemist Christiaan Winkel, a Dutch national, imported a machine from China and chemicals to make £1.6 million worth of fake erectile dysfunction pills and also used the equipment to make fake Ecstacy.…

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U.S. Customs Seize 20,000 Counterfeit Medications at Kennedy Airport

At New York’s Kennedy Airport, U.S. Customs and Border Protection flagged a cargo shipment from Hong Kong labeled “Farsan Sweet Dryfruit” for inspection on Thursday, February 17, 2011, and found approximately 20,000 pills inside. Fox News New York reported that officers examined the pills and identified them as counterfeit sildenafil, tadalfil and vardenafil. “The illicit…

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Russian Online Pharmacy Supplying Americans with Pain Pills Prescription-Free

Internal documents from ChronoPay, Russia’s largest processor of online payments, have shown that a Russian rogue pharmacy program called Rx-Promotion sold millions of controlled pills including Valium, Percocet, Tramadol and Oxycodone, in 2010 alone, mostly to Americans, without prescription requirements. Reporter Brian Krebs interviewed Pavel Vrublevsky in February 2011, the founder of ChronoPay, and also…

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Liang B A*, Mackey T. Direct-to-Consumer Advertising With Interactive Internet Media. JAMA. 2011 2 23; 305 (8): 824-825.

Direct-to-consumer advertising (DTCA) is legal only in the United States and New Zealand and has been linked with drug overutilization, public health concerns, and higher costs. 1 Despite global proscriptions, DTCA is the most rapidly increasing form of pharmaceutical marketing, with approximately $4 billion in US expenditures, outpacing physician marketing and research and development. Liang…

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Counterfeit Pills Infiltrated Over-The-Counter Nutritional Supplement Market

View in a larger map On February 22, 2011, Biotab Nutraceuticals, Inc., (“Biotab”) voluntarily recalled two lots of EXTENZE nutritional supplements bearing lot number 0709241 and 0509075 because they are counterfeit products containing undeclared drug ingredients. Who: The Food and Drug Administration notified Biotab of the problem. When: February 22, 2011 Where: USA. How: Unknown…

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Rogue Online Pharmacies Co-Opt Google Brand

  A new pharmaceutical spam campaign misappropriates Google branding to promote a “Google-accredited” online pharmacy portal. Symantec’s MessageLabs intelligence tracked spam email messages promoting online drug sales with a false claim that Google has hosted and approved the pharmacy sites. The link within the email directs to a spammer’s blog on a popular blogging portal,…

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FDA Identifies Emerging Trend of Dangerous Medicines Hidden in “All Natural Supplements”

U.S. Customs and Border Protection (CBP) and the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) has seen an increase in tainted products marketed as “all natural” or “100% herbal” that contain undeclared pharmaceutical ingredients that could potentially sicken consumers and counterfeit prescription medications that contain inappropriate ingredients or incorrect dosages.

In a news release, the CBP and FDA said that “counterfeiters have become more sophisticated in deceiving consumers. It can be difficult, if not impossible, to tell the real product from an imposter without sophisticated equipment. Counterfeit drugs may look exactly like real FDA-approved medicines, but their quality and safety are unknown. For example, counterfeit products could contain the wrong ingredients and/or varying amounts of the supposed active ingredient.”

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