The Partnership for Safe Medicines Congressional Briefing March 16 -17, 2017

In 2017, the danger of counterfeit drugs is serious and ubiquitous in America, touching all 50 states. Large-scale smugglers bring in fake cancer drugs containing nothing but mold and water and sell them at a discount to oncologists. Fake pills containing deadly doses of fentanyl appear in the supply chain either from fake online pharmacies or through illicit smuggling. Fentanyl-based fakes have killed people in 30 states already in the last 24 months.

In March 2017, Partnership for Safe Medicines (PSM) hosted a congressional briefing to update Congress about this wide-reaching problem, and on the impact that counterfeit drug sellers may have had on their constituents.

Speakers included:

  • “Myths and Facts about Drug Importation Proposals and Results of Lab Tests on Products from Canadian Pharmacy Websites,” Marv Shepherd, PSM Board Member [PowerPoint]
  • “U.S. Supply Chain Security at Risk: Counterfeit and Foreign Unapproved Drugs Pose a Significant Public Health Threat to the American Public,” George Karavetsos, DLA Piper, former director of FDA’s Office of Criminal Investigations [PowerPoint]
  • “Deadly Counterfeits: Fentanyl Poisoning in the United States,” John Burke, Past Commander of the Warren County Ohio Drug Task Force and former Cincinnati Police Officer [PowerPoint]
  • “Drug Importation Safety Concerns with Biologic Medicines,” Amy Lyons, Vice President of Corporate Security, Bristol-Myers Squibb [PowerPoint]
  • “Criminal Intent and Counterfeit Medicines,” Clive Timmons, Global Head of Security, Novartis
  • “Counterfeit Medicines from Canada,” John Clark, Vice President and Chief Security Officer, Pfizer

Other briefing materials:

Counterfeit Drugs in America, 2017The updated, second edition of PSM’s overview of the state of counterfeit medicines in the United States.

Myth: We are getting the same drugs Canadians takeA pamphlet summarizing Maine’s experience with drug importation in 2013-2014.


PSM’s We found better prices at U.S. pharmacies” poster.




PSM’s 5 Ways to Save Money/6 Things You Don’t Know about Canadian Pharmacies bookmark.  (2019 update)


Ordering prescription medicines from Canadian pharmacy websitesPoster showing the difference between the American and the Canadian experience when you order from Canadian online pharmacies.  (Courtesy the Alliance for Safe Online Pharmacies)