Counterfeit Medicine News for the Week of June 8, 2020
Coronavirus fraud and counterfeit news:
The Federal Trade Commission warned 16 multi-level marketing companies over false health and income claims related to the COVID-19 pandemic,, and the Internal Revenue Service warned consumers that its Criminal Investigation division has seen a variety of Economic Impact Payment and other scams.
Customs and Border Protection (CBP) agents in Philadelphia, PA seized 10,000 unapproved KN-95 respirator masks, as well as other unapproved COVID-19 products. Their compatriots in Birmingham, AL confiscated nearly 500 infrared and non-contact thermometers that were falsely marked FDA-approved.
- The U.S. Attorney’s Office in New Jersey charged a manufacturer in China with violating the Food, Drugs and Cosmetics Act and making a false statement after it exported almost half-a-million counterfeit N95 respirator masks into the U.S.
- The U.S. Attorney’s Office in the Northern District of California charged a medical technology CEO with criminal securities fraud after he falsely claimed to investors that the company had developed a government-approved blood test.
- The New York Attorney General is suing a Buffalo-area broker for soliciting the State of New York and others across the country with fake offers of personal protective equipment (PPE).
- In California, 3M filed its twelfth lawsuit to stop N95 mask counterfeiters and price gougers, this time filing against an Amazon merchant that sold 3M N95 masks for more than 18 times their list price. The company plans to donate monetary damages to charitable COVID-19 relief efforts.
ProPublica reported that federal agencies have purchased “$11 million worth of Chinese-made masks, often with little attention to manufacturing details or rapidly evolving regulatory guidance about safety or quality” in the scramble to obtain PPE after the U.S. declared a national emergency on March 13th.
The Food and Drug Administration (FDA) and the National Telecommunications and Information Administration (NTIA) announced a pilot project to reduce illegal online sales of opioids by coordinating with three participating internet registries to suspend or block websites that do not respond to FDA warnings in the required time frame.
Other Counterfeit News:
CBP officers seized 300,000 counterfeit fentanyl pills as part of a large multi-drug bust at the port of Nogales in Arizona.
Authorities in Alachua County, FL warned about overdoses as a result of counterfeit, fentanyl-laced oxycodone. According to news about a fentanyl poisoning death in Gillette, WY, fake oxycodone pills are also circulating in Wyoming.
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.