Death in LA County Highlights the Dangers of Counterfeit Medication

A County officials warn public about the toxic threat that fake medications pose, and share a tragic story about a woman whose efforts to save money by using non-FDA approved treatments led to her death.

An NBC News story shares the details of a counterfeit medication death in Los Angeles County. Esmeralda Mendez described for NBC News how her sister, suffering from chronic pain, purchased unlicensed medication. Instead of being cured by the administered injection, Ms. Mendez’ 40 year old sister died within a few hours of being treated.

As Dr. Marv Shepherd, Partnership for Safe Medicines’ board member warns in a recent public service announcement, “Counterfeit pharmaceutical medication kills. These fake drugs are often made with toxic chemicals and are stored in filthy conditions.”

According to NBC News, non-FDA approved medications are often sought out as a “cheaper alternative” to genuine medication. Instead of submitting to unlicensed sources that sell potentially life threatening counterfeits, patients can turn to nonprofit organizations like and that provide low-to-no-cost assistance for people who cannot afford their medicine.

To find out how you can save on medication without endangering your health, please read Save Money Safely on Prescriptions from Online Pharmacies.

To learn more about the dangers of counterfeit medication, please watch