Coronavirus Counterfeits

U.S. Attorneys in California, Florida, Michigan, Texas, Utah, and Washington moved with impressive speed this week to protect Americans from criminals running coronavirus-related scams related to medical treatments and gear.

None of the products these scammers were selling are FDA-approved and there is no evidence that they offer effective treatment for or prevention of COVID-19.

Report from the Office of the U.S. Trade Representative

The Office of the United States Trade Representative’s office released their annual review of the global state of intellectual property rights (IPR) protection and enforcement. The Special 301 Report 2019 includes a discussion of the global counterfeit pharmaceutical trade and places both Canada and Mexico on watch lists for, among other things, “poor enforcement with respect  to  counterfeit  or  pirated  goods at  the border” and within their own countries.

Other counterfeit drugs in the news

In other counterfeit news, law enforcement seized suspected counterfeit pills made with fentanyl in Colorado Springs, Colorado and Geauga County, Ohio and confirmed counterfeit fentanyl pills in Muscle Shoals, Alabama. In addition, authorities in Lancaster County, Pennsylvania have charged a man for allegedly selling the fentanyl-laced counterfeit oxycodone pills that tragically killed a 23-year-old East Lampeter resident in February 2019.

Even as we are dealing with the pandemic, PSM is keeping a steady eye on public reports of dangerous counterfeit drugs. Check back for next week’s summary.