Archive for 2017

Ohio Man to Spend Five Years in Prison for Role in Counterfeit Pill Scheme

Cincinnati resident Shoaib Haroon was recently sentenced to five years in federal prison for his role in a scheme to sell people counterfeit drugs. Mr. Haroon received and filled the orders out of his home. He was observed mailing 80 packages each day out of the same post office. Inside the packages were counterfeit pills in plastic bags.

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Counterfeit Prescription Drugs a Problem in Canada & Australia

The National Post reports that since October 2015, Health Canada has stopped almost 10,000 packages containing counterfeit prescription drugs at the Canadian border. New reports from a 2010 incident reveal that counterfeit drugs ended up in 260 pharmacies and four hospitals in Australia. Patients were protected by a thorough hospital pharmacist who noticed “it was grittier than normal.”

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Maryland Pharmacists Association Director: Importing Drugs May Endanger Patients

This editorial by Aliyah N. Horton, the executive director of the Maryland Pharmacists Association, was published in the Baltimore Sun on July 19, 2017.

In it, Horton points out the “huge public health risk” posed by buying imported drugs, and urges legislators to vote against unsafe drug importation, and to “seek other avenues to improve patient access, safety and drug affordability.”

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Former FBI Director Discusses the Dangers of Allowing Drug Importation in Radio Interview

Freeh warned that allowing drug importation from Canada was akin to allowing drugs to be imported from anywhere. Quality would be at risk, and the opioid crisis, an epidemic that killed over 33,000 Americans in 2015, would only get worse. He said that allowing drug importation, “…will not only fuel that, but it will also, in my opinion, encourage a lot of criminal groups and organizations that heretofore have not been involved in this trade, but will see huge opportunities to enter the market.”

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Counterfeit fentanyl pills in Iowa

Counterfeit Fentanyl Pills in Iowa Since 2012, drug traffickers have been selling North Americans counterfeit medications made from fentanyl, a dangerous painkiller 25-40 times stronger than heroin, and even stronger synthetic opioids like carfentanil. The problem has spread to at least 31 states, and many Americans have suffered overdoses and death because the drugs they…

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Biotechnology Innovation Organization CEO Warns Against Drug Importation

In a July 14, 2017 editorial for STAT, Jim Greenwood, the president and CEO of the Biotechnology Innovation Organization (BIO), reminds us that the safety risks of buying prescription medicines from other countries are real:

“The debate about drug importation has been underway for decades. Those who support it have never advanced a responsible plan that would provide the same level of health and safety protections that the FDA has delivered for decades. Its rigorous system of rules and protocols ensure that prescription drugs in this country are safe and effective. It protects those high standards by preventing the sale of imported prescription drugs that are not approved for use in the U.S.”

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Maine pharmacist: U.S. lawmakers should say no to drug import legislation

A few years ago, Maine introduced similar legislation that allowed patients to buy drugs from foreign pharmacies. We, too, wanted to provide patients with lower-cost medicines.

It proved to be a big mistake. Instead of getting drugs from Canada, we got dangerous and ineffective counterfeit pills from other countries. Maine’s disastrous experience with counterfeit Canadian drug imports should serve as a lesson to our lawmakers to say no to drug importation legislation.

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Importation Endangers Law Enforcers Warns Sheriff Keith Cain

During my law enforcement career, spanning four decades, I have spent a great deal of time investigating crimes related to illegal drug use and trafficking. The growing scourge of methamphetamine and opioid use is unlike other crimes I have prosecuted in the past. It has literally changed the way we protect our citizens and officers. In addition to the traditional equipment carried by an officer, they must now equip themselves with Naloxone to counteract the effects of an opioid overdose, thusly, amending our existing policies has become necessary.

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