Counterfeit Medicine News for the Week of July 13, 2020
Coronavirus fraud and counterfeit news:
In ongoing news about fake and substandard personal protection equipment:
- NPR wrote about fake U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) certificates that often accompany imported medical masks.
- 3M continues to shut down sellers of counterfeit N95 respirators. To date, it has filed 18 lawsuits and secured the removal of more than 7,000 websites selling fake 3M products and 10,000+ false or deceptive social media posts.
Federal authorities continue to stop fake coronavirus products:
- FDA warned four companies for selling supplements or non-FDA approved pharmaceuticals as COVID-19 treatments.
- The U.S. Attorney of the Eastern District of California indicted the CEO of Golden Sunrise Pharmaceutical Inc. of Porterville, California for allegedly selling herbal mixtures which he falsely claimed treated Covid-19.
- U.S. Customs and Border Protection (CBP) officers in Mobile, Alabama intercepted more than $120K worth of mislabeled and unregistered disinfectant wipes.
The Illinois State Police warned residents about scammers pretending to be contact tracers.
The Arizona Poison and Drug Information Center reported that four Arizona residents have died and 26 have been hospitalized after ingesting hand sanitizer with methanol since May. Exposure to methanol can cause nausea, vomiting, headache, blurred vision, blindness, seizures, coma, permanent damage to the nervous system and death.
Other Counterfeit News:
Maksym Nienadov and Volodymyr Nikolaienko of Ukraine pleaded guilty in the Southern District of Texas to conspiring to smuggle and distribute counterfeit cancer and hepatitis drugs into the U.S. after they sold undercover agents counterfeit Keytruda, Abraxane, and Epclusa in 2018.
CBP at the port of Nogales in Arizona intercepted more than five pounds of fentanyl pills and a third of a pound of Xanax pills on July 14.
Law enforcement in Buncombe County, North Carolina seized 358 grams of fentanyl and a pill press, and charged a Candler man with drug trafficking.
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.