May 22, 2023: Dangerous Eye Drops - FDA Warns about Unapproved Amniotic Fluid Eye Drops and Health Canada Seizes Unapproved Eye Drops
This week: Health Canada seized unapproved eyedrops and eve washes sold in a store in Mississauga, Ontario, as well as online. The products, which claimed to contain prescription drug ingredients, were not authorized for sale in the country. In April, the U.S. Food and Drug Administration also issued a public warning after unapproved amniotic fluid eye drops were being marketed in the country. The warning states, “There are currently no FDA-approved amniotic fluid eyedrops to treat, mitigate or cure eye diseases or conditions….”
Stories of families who lost loved ones because of dubious medical advice and counterfeit pills continue to come in from across the country.
Three men were convicted in the U.K. of manufacturing and selling counterfeit pills while India continues to battle against an epidemic of counterfeit and substandard medicines.
Three men were convicted in a UK court of manufacturing and selling counterfeit pills containing benzodiazepines on the darknet. The men operated out of a warehouse in Acton, a town in the London Borough of Ealing, making at least £3.5 million (over $4.3 million).
Health authorities in Chandigarh in northern India busted a company selling counterfeit medicines under the names of nonexistent manufacturing firms. Most of the medicines seized were fake antibiotics to treat infections.
After counterfeit versions of Glenmark’s popular blood pressure drug showed up in Thana village in Baddi, Indian authorities are seeking the source of the counterfeits.
Customs agents in Nigeria seized a large shipment of suspected substandard medicine on May 9th concealed in a truck. Police arrested four suspects.
Xanax dies used to make counterfeit pills by Acton, U.K. drug traffickers. (Met Police's Cyber Crimes Unit)
Sentencings, pleas and indictments in fourteen states.
Authorities in San Mateo, California have filed charges against a Florida woman who booked a hotel room in Burlingame to administer illegal silicone injections that killed a San Jose woman in April 2023. The FDA states that “injectable silicone is not approved by the U.S. Food and Drug Administration for any aesthetic procedure including facial and body contouring or enhancement. Silicone injections can lead to long-term pain, infections, and serious injuries, such as scarring and permanent disfigurement, embolism (blockage of a blood vessel), stroke, and death.”
Cam Christopher Jahnke, Chase Daniel Jahnke and Kelsi Thurman, all of Cass County, Iowa, were sentenced to a cumulative 46 years in prison for distributing more than 10,000 fentanyl pills and causing two fentanyl poisoning deaths between August 2019 and June 2022. Two additional defendants, Colby and Collin Clarken, have pleaded guilty and are scheduled to be sentenced in August 2023.
Qhamel Dickerson of Huntington Station, New York received a five-year prison sentence in Suffolk County court for selling fake oxycodone pills made of fentanyl that killed a East Northport woman in July 2022.
Richard Barnes III of Evansville, Indiana received a 20-year sentence for selling 24-year-old Zeke Biggs fentanyl pills that killed him in 2022.
Another Indiana resident, William Johnson of Indianapolis will serve almost nine years in federal prison for selling firearms, marijuana and fentanyl pills that he advertised on Instagram stories.
Magaly Mejia Cano pleaded guilty to distributing fentanyl pills to a minor. Cano is the first of eight defendants implicated in a drug distribution ring linked to the fentanyl poisoning of at least 12 teens – three of them fatal – in Carrollton and Flower Mound, Texas since September 2022.
U.S. attorneys charged two San Fernando Valley residents with selling hundreds of thousands of dollars’ worth of fentanyl pills and cocaine on darknet markets between April 2021 and May 2023.
Law enforcement in California arrested seven alleged firearms and narcotics traffickers in the vicinity of the Los Angeles Harbor. The charges unsealed this week involve the seizure of 23,000 fentanyl pills and almost 30 kilograms of other narcotics.
People were also convicted or sentenced in drug trafficking cases involving counterfeit pills made with fentanyl in Sanger, California; Buford, Georgia; Daggett, Michigan; Great Falls, Montana; Akron, Ohio; Gresham and Prineville, Oregon and Seattle, Washington.
Pill seizures in 10 states and a pill press seized in one.
With the help of a police dog, deputies in Washington County, Utah intercepted more than seven pounds of fentanyl pills being transported on I-15 near Leeds.
The Drug Enforcement Administration announced that agents had seized more than a pound of fentanyl in February when they tracked the delivery of a pill press en route from China to Chicago, Illinois.
There were also counterfeit pill seizures in Decatur, Alabama; Sierra Vista, Arizona; Nampa, Idaho; Lebanon and Marion, Indiana; Sioux City, Iowa; Franklin County, Ohio; Cheyenne, Wyoming and Edgewater, Colorado, where a three-year-old found a plastic baggie that contained fentanyl pills at a McDonald’s playground.