Counterfeit Medicine News for the Week of June 29, 2020

A spray bottle labeled "Curativa"

FDA warned consumers not to use Curativa as an anti-COVID product. (Source: FDA)

Coronavirus fraud and counterfeit news:

The Federal Bureau of Investigations (FBI) warned that scammers are using the sale of fake and unapproved Covid-19 antibody tests to mine information for identity theft and medical insurance fraud.

The Department of Justice (DOJ) issued a statement that "face mask exemption cards" bearing the DOJ seal are fraudulent.

The Food and Drug Administration (FDA) and Federal Trade Commission (FTC), and Attorneys General in Arizona and Oregon have taken steps to stop the sale of products like cosmetic sprays, herbal treatments and air purifiers with claims that they treat or prevent COVID-19. Consult the most recent FDA and FTC warning letters.

The Organized Crime and Corruption Reporting Project reported that fake and faulty medical masks sold in 19 countries—among them Lithuania, Portugal, Malta, and Estonia—were linked to organized crime in Romania.


Other Counterfeit News:

The U.S. Attorney of the Central District of California, the Oklahoma Attorney General, and the Peabody District Court in Massachusetts each filed charges against people alleged to have distributed counterfeit oxycodone laced with fentanyl. The Oklahoma case has been linked to the deaths of two Oklahoma City residents in June 2020.

Law enforcement in Panama City, Florida and Suffolk County, New York warned that they had found counterfeit fentanyl pills circulating in their jurisdictions.

Overseas, Italian police seized more than 84 million counterfeit “Captagon” pills bound for sale in the EU. Captagon is a stimulant that is no longer made, but is regularly counterfeited by militants in the Middle East such as ISIS.

Authorities in Spain arrested a Russian national for illegally manufacturing and selling medicines using labels counterfeiting real Spanish companies.

Australia’s Therapeutic Goods Administration has found counterfeit versions of the anti-anxiety medicine alprazolam circulating in Australian communities.

Fake pills pouring from industrial equipment

Italian Captagon bust, Salerno, June 2020 (Source: CNN)

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.