August 2, 2021: New York Representatives Introduce Bill to Speed Analogue Scheduling
U.S. Representatives John Katko and Kathleen Rice of New York introduced HR 4459, the Stop the Importation and Manufacturing of Synthetic Analogues (SIMSA) Act of 2021, which would amend the Controlled Substances Act to “result in faster control of drugs designed to be used in the same illicit manner as already regulated or outlawed drugs.” A companion bill, S 2351, has also been introduced in the U.S. Senate.
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The U.S. Food and Drug Administration warned Amazon.com that despite more than a two year dialogue about the issue, the company was still selling sexual enhancement and weight loss supplements that contain undeclared and potentially harmful drug ingredients.
Avanos Medical will pay $22 million to resolve criminal charges relating to its fraudulent misbranding of surgical gowns. Between late 2014 and early 2015, it sold hundreds of thousands of MicroCool surgical gowns that did not meet the correct protective standard.
Law enforcement and health officials across the country continue to warn generally that fentanyl poisonings are on the rise, and that counterfeit pills made with fentanyl are a significant cause of drug deaths. This week, news sites in California, Colorado, Delaware, Indiana, and Oklahoma covered the issue.
The U.S. Drug Enforcement Administration reports that an El Sobrante, California man was charged with conspiracy to distribute and possess fentanyl. Investigators believe that he supplied a drug trafficking organization that sold counterfeit prescription pills in San Francisco's Tenderloin District.
Los Angeles Magazine did a deep dive into the story of Orange County, California conman Keith Middlebrook, who was indicted in March 2020 for allegedly soliciting investments for fake COVID treatments.
Authorities in Fresno County, California warned residents about counterfeit pills made with fentanyl.
Police in Portland, Oregon reported that they had seized 105,000 counterfeit oxycodone pills suspected to contain fentanyl in the east side of the city.
Twenty-eight-year-old Jeffrey Wagner of Prescott Valley, Arizona received a 10-year prison sentence for the distribution of fentanyl, heroin and fake oxycodone pills made with fentanyl. A search of Wagner’s residence revealed fentanyl pills and other illicit drugs, a pill press and items associated with drug sales.
The Arizona High Intensity Drug Trafficking Area Task Force reported that it is devoting 30% of its time to Snapchat surveillance to stop drug dealers from using the site like a “DoorDash for drugs” — including counterfeit pills.
Sheriff's deputies near Payson, Arizona seized 50,000 pills laced with suspected fentanyl inside a Phoenix woman's car during a traffic stop this week.
Deputies in Adams County, Colorado arrested four people after a search of a property yielded 40,000 fentanyl pills, large quantities of cocaine and methamphetamine, weapons and cash.
The Pocatello Police Department found a bag of about 3,000 pills that contained fentanyl — but that were disguised to look like less-potent oxycodone — at a local trailhead.
Flathead County, Montana Sheriff Brian Heino reported that his office had seized counterfeit pills made with fentanyl several times in the last year.
Authorities in Eddy County, New Mexico warned residents about counterfeit pills made with fentanyl.
Cincinnati CBP officers seized over 23,000 pills of sildenafil citrate (the active ingredient in Viagra) on their way from an apartment in India to an apartment in Georgia.
Lima, Ohio resident Brandon Stephenson pleaded guilty to “corrupting another with drugs,” after he sold fentanyl pills to a woman who nearly died after taking them in May 2021.
In North Dakota, Grand Forks Public Health reported an uptick in opioid overdoses in 2021: 37 residents have been treated and three have died as a result of counterfeit pills.
The Polk County, North Dakota Sheriff’s Office reported the investigation of the death of a 32-year-old woman. Counterfeit oxycodone pills were recovered in the case.
The FBI warned attendees of the Lollapalooza festival in Chicago that buying or selling fake coronavirus vaccination cards is a crime. The four-day music festival, which ran from July 29 to August 1, required either proof of vaccination or proof of a negative COVID-19 test taken within 72 hours of arrival.
The Montgomery County, Pennsylvania District Attorney charged a 23-year-old resident with drug delivery resulting in death after he allegedly sold a 27-year-old Cheltenham man the fake oxycodone pills made with fentanyl and chlorofentanyl that killed him in late February.
The district attorney in Clarion County, Pennsylvania warned about counterfeit prescription pills circulating in the area. Another news outlet warned about Adderall made with methamphetamine in New England.
In a piece about the rise of fentanyl poisoning deaths in Texas, a Michigan family spoke about their beloved son and brother, Austin LeTourneau, who died in Houston in May 2020 after taking a counterfeit Xanax pill.
The family of Eastover, North Carolina resident Leland Duvell McLaurin III is also speaking out. The 47-year-old father died in April 2021 after taking what police believe was a counterfeit Percocet pill.
The FDA warned an Oklahoma company to stop selling its “Germaphobe’s Delight Spray” as a product intended to mitigate, prevent, treat, diagnose, or cure COVID-19.
A Perry County sheriff’s deputy seized 3,000 fentanyl pills and arrested a woman during a traffic stop near New Augusta, Mississippi.
Earlier this year, the United Kingdom’s Department of Health and Social Care inadvertently distributed 1.12 million substandard respirator masks to the National Health Service. The masks bore false certification marks and did not meet the protective standards on the labeling.