Counterfeit Medicine News for the Week of July 27, 2020
Coronavirus Fraud And Counterfeit News:
Radish paste falsely sold as a COVID-19 treatment.
In hearings before the Senate Finance Committee, Customs and Border Protection (CBP) testified that it had seized 10 million imported counterfeit face masks between the start of the coronavirus pandemic and June 30th. On the second day of hearings, medical supply industry and health care representatives testified about the continuing problem of fake personal protective equipment (PPE) and urged Congress to develop a distribution strategy and a larger national stockpile.
State and federal prosecutors continue to try to keep COVID-19 scammers in check:
- The U.S. Attorney’s Office in Utah has charged a man who allegedly posed as a doctor and sold ingestible silver-based products as a cure for COVID-19. This product was one of several mentioned in an NPR piece this week about unregulated COVID-19 “treatments” sold on third-party platforms like Amazon.
- The Los Angeles City Attorney settled a court case with an LA-based company that advertised and sold radish paste as COVID-19 preventative.
- A Chandler, Arizona doctor warned that he had seen patients suffering side effects he attributed to fake "COVID treatment packs" they had purchased in Mexico.
- The South Dakota Department of Health reported one death and two hospitalizations from the ingestion of hand sanitizer that contains methanol. As of July 31, 2020, the FDA had recalled 99 hand sanitizers that contain the toxic ingredient.
Other Counterfeit News:
CBP in Cincinnati, Ohio intercepted two shipments of fake Botox shipped from Great Britain on their way to private residences in Florida.
Arizona CBP seized almost six-and-a-half pounds of fentanyl pills and a quarter-of-a-pound of Tramadol pills and other drugs at the Port of Nogales and more than five pounds of fentanyl pills in Yuma County.
The Snohomish Regional Drug Task Force arrested a couple in Lynwood, Washington and seized heroin, methamphetamine and 1,400 grams of fentanyl powder which they were allegedly pressing into counterfeit pills.
Law enforcement in Fargo, North Dakota warned that there had been an uptick of overdoses and that fentanyl-laced counterfeit pills were circulating in the area.
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.