The Los Angeles Times reported on three civil lawsuits filed by the city of Los Angeles, California against eight individuals accused of selling illegal, banned, misbranded and counterfeit pharmaceuticals. Multiple law enforcement agencies in California as well as in Arizona conducted the thorough investigation that ended with the recovery of over 430,000 doses of illicit drugs. Beyond civil penalties, each of the defendants is also facing long-term injunctions that would restrict their future business activities.
A wide range of drugs was recovered at multiple locations, including antibiotics, anti-anxiety and anti-inflammatory drugs, and an erectile dysfunction medication. The Los Angeles Times warned its readers that counterfeit medicine can contain harmful ingredients or incorrect doses that could be harmful. At a news conference, Los Angeles City Attorney Mike Feuer said, “My office and our law enforcement partners continue to fight to protect our residents from the health and safety hazards pose by illegal pharmaceuticals. Through these lawsuits, we seek to shut down what we allege are the unlawful activities of these supplies and to send a clear message to others who prey on the community that they’ll be next.”
This is not the first civil lawsuit brought by this Los Angeles city attorney against people selling counterfeit and misbranded drugs. As reported by The Daily News, in June 2017, Feuer filed a lawsuit against a candy store in Pacoima that had been illegally selling prescription drugs without a license. At that time, Feuer said, “We’re targeting businesses that would sell (counterfeit or mislabeled drugs) and prey on the vulnerability of people who believe they are getting the medication that they are purchasing but in fact are getting something quite different.” He noted that some of the store’s customers had experienced negative and harmful side effects from the drugs they purchased there.