Archive for August 2012

Counterfeit Med Maker Dupes Patients With Internet Sales

A key member of a criminal drug gang that sold vast quantities of counterfeit drugs in the United States has been convicted, but his fugitive boss is who the Feds are really after.

A Puerto Rican man, Francis Ortiz Gonzalez has been convicted of conspiracy and seven counts of trafficking in counterfeit pharmaceuticals after a 6 six-day trial in Los Angeles. The trial followed a grand jury indictment from June 2009. Ortiz Gonzalez is set for sentencing on November 8th of this year, announced U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE).


Safe Medicines in China

August 2012 found The Partnership For Safe Medicine’s Executive Director Scott LaGanga meeting with Chinese government and business authorities in Beijing to discuss counterfeit medications.

The timing of the visit coincided with a government seizure of $180 million worth of counterfeit medications said LaGanga, noting that there is still much to be done to curb counterfeit drug production in China. “While a critical development, our work is only getting started and it will take the public-private partnership of government, industry, stakeholders and individual patients before we can make a dent in this issue,” wrote LaGanga in a blog post.


Gang Members Caught Selling Expired Cancer Medication; Thief Steals Cancer Meds to Sell into Gray Market

In Russia two gang members were arrested for selling expired cancer medications to pharmacies and hospitals, repackaged as if authentic. Meanwhile a Miami pharmacy technician stole fragile, refrigerated cancer medications in order to re-sell them.

In July 2012, Russian police arrested two counterfeit drug gang members for allegedly selling $15.4 million of counterfeit cancer medications.


7 Most Common Counterfeit Drugs

Melanie Haiken, writing for the MSN Wellness Blog, highlights the seven most likely drug counterfeits that US consumers could end up purchasing.

Counterfeit drugs are a scary threat to US consumers, writes Melanie Haiken in her article, 7 Scariest Counterfeit Drugs. You might think you are taking a pain reliever or lifestyle drug for weight loss or erectile dysfunction (ED) but instead you end up with any number of hidden poisons such as road paint, antifreeze, or an undeclared and unapproved medication like Sibutramine.


FDA Receives Reports of Fatalities Associated With Undeclared Ingredients

The U.S. Food and Drug Administration has issued an updated alert that Reumofan Plus and Reumofan Plus Premium contain undeclared prescription drug ingredients that have impacted public safety.

The agency announced it has received reports of “fatalities, stroke, severe bleeding in the gastrointestinal tract, dizziness, insomnia, high blood sugar levels and problems with liver and kidney functions,as well as corticosteroid withdrawal syndrome,” in the two months since initially announcing the recall on the product in June.


As US Citizens Bring Resistant Malaria Strains Home, A Third of All Malaria Drugs Tested are Fake

Malaria is a major concern for public health officials throughout much of the world. Now a new report indicate US citizens returning from Africa are coming home with drug-resistant malaria, while The Lancet tells us up to one third of all malaria treatments are counterfeit.

News from Alertnet reports that US travelers returning from visits to sub-Saharan Africa are bringing home artemisinin-resistant malaria. Though no indication of large-scale malaria drug resistance has yet appeared on the African continent, it is a worrying trend that may presage full-scale drug resistance in African malarial strains.


USAID: Fighting Counterfeit Malaria Drugs Worldwide

Drug resistance as a result of the proliferation of counterfeit/low dose treatments is a growing problem in the fight against malaria. USAID is leading the charge to combat counterfeit malaria treatments in the places where malaria drug resistance is developing.

Drug counterfeiters, exploiting a captive audience in malaria sufferers, have helped create artemisinin-resistant malaria strains along the Thai/Cambodia and Thai/Myanmar borders. Counterfeit versions of malaria drugs have proliferated along the war-torn borders in Southeast Asia, and are also showing up in several African nations.


Overseas Counterfeit Drug Supplier Pleads Guilty to Federal Charges

Robin Han, a citizen of New Zealand, faces up to 30 years in prison and possible $6 million fine after pleading guilty to counterfeit drug charges last month.

US attorneys from the Central District of California have successfully prosecuted Han on charges he was a large scale trafficker of counterfeit drugs in the United States. His indictment was originally filed in 2007, but he was a fugitive from justice until March 29th of this year, when he was taken into custody at San Francisco International airport, reports U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement.

Han became a target of the federal probe in 2006, after US Customs and Border Protection officers intercepted a parcel containing counterfeit versions of erectile dysfunction medication. Subsequent investigation traced the shipment to Robin Han.