Counterfeit Medicine News for January 25, 2021

COVID-19 counterfeits and fraud:

Learn more about ongoing problems with hand sanitizer safety since the pandemic began

United States

The U.S. Food and Drug Administration has placed all alcohol-based hand sanitizers from Mexico on a countrywide import alert. There has been a sharp increase in methanol contamination in hand sanitizer products from Mexico since the start of the pandemic. Watch our video about recalled hand sanitizers to learn more about the problem.

Denver-based Nationwide Medical Supply will pay $70,000 after it marked up mask and respirator prices to more than 250% of its cost, mislabeled a KN95 mask as an N95 respirator and falsely claimed its products were FDA approved.

3M has filed suit against a Del Ray, Florida business that allegedly sold counterfeit N95 masks to a hospital in Minnesota.

Authorities in Colorado, Nevada, and South Carolina warned residents to beware of COVID-19 vaccine scams.


Ecuadorian police shut down an alternative medicines center in Quito that administered thousands of fake COVID-19 vaccines made of an unknown substance.

Mexican regulators reported a surge of COVID-19 related fraud, chiefly in the form of scammers collecting payments for coronavirus-related medical products such as oxygen tanks, steroids, tests and vaccines.

In November 2020, law enforcement in South Africa confiscated 400 vials of unregistered COVID-19 vaccines which had been mislabeled as cosmetic injections when they were shipped from Singapore.

Counterfeit News:

In Sacramento, California, a federal grand jury indicted 10 men who allegedly sold tens of thousands of fake oxycodone pills made with fentanyl, as well as cocaine and methamphetamine, despite knowing their products were killing people.

A federal grand jury in Cleveland, Ohio indicted two Kirtland men for drug trafficking after agents found a meth lab, a pill press, a kilo of meth, and other drugs  from a residence they used

Oklahoma Bureau of Narcotics agents in Norman arrested a man after a search of a home yielded more than 4,000 suspected counterfeit pills, and large quantities of other illicit drugs.

Customs and Border Protection officers in Louisville, Kentucky seized two shipments containing more than 18,500 illegally imported Viagra pills on their way to an individual in Burton, Michigan.

Law enforcement in Idaho seized 7.3 grams of fentanyl pills, as well as other drugs, during a traffic stop in the Lewis Clark Valley.

Officers found 646 grams of suspected fentanyl, a pill press, and numerous round blue pills in a home in Tulsa, Oklahoma.

Police in Clinton County, New York warned that counterfeit oxycodone was circulating in the area.

As of 2020, fake pills have been found in all 50 states. Read about some of the victims and see the situation in your state.

PSM is keeping a steady eye on public reports of dangerous counterfeit drugs and other medical products. Check back for next week’s summary.