June 10, 2024: U.S. drug shortages in 2023 and more counterfeit Ozempic seized

Major Stories

Federal legislation to combat fentanyl and pill presses introduced in the Senate and new authority for the FDA.

Click here to read the full report.

The U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) submitted its annual report to Congress
demonstrating the agency’s actions to prevent and mitigate drug shortages in 2023.
Per the report, by working with manufacturers, the FDA prevented 236 drug shortages and identified 55 new shortages.

Drug shortages not only pose a challenge to public health, but they embolden counterfeiters seeking to distribute their fakes in the U.S. market.

Domestic News

Counterfeit Ozempic seized in CBP and the GLP-1 compounding problem.

Counterfeit Ozempic seized by CBP Cincinnati

U.S. Customs and Border agents in Cincinnati, OH have seized 11 shipments of counterfeit Ozempic since February of this year. All the shipments originated in Colombia and were destined for addresses in New York, Massachusetts, and Texas.

The popularity and price of GLP-1 agonists have caused patients around the world to seek these drugs from outside legitimate drug supply chains. The safety of these knockoff versions of these medicines are unknown and patients have been hurt.

A man in Massachusetts received a six-year prison sentence for using a pill press to make counterfeit pills which he then sent to customers in the U.S. postal system.

International News

Realistic counterfeit medicines in Bangladesh, fake medical devices in Canada, and one counterfeit drug gang operating on three continents.

Medicine seized in Bangladesh

Police in Bangladesh busted a counterfeit medicine ring selling a fake hepatitis B vaccine made from a tetanus injection and an antibiotic that was made out of flour, cornflour, and semolina.

Police arrested members of an India-based counterfeit drug ring that were allegedly selling counterfeit cancer and diabetes medications. Additionally, one of the men arrested is said to have moved medicines between India, Turkey and Egypt.

Authorities in Pakistan arrested five individuals - including one doctor -  for selling fake medicines in Khyber Pakhtunkhwa, as well as in Afghanistan.

Health Canada issues a warning about counterfeit threads for nonsurgical facelifts used at clinics and sold online. 

A trial began in the United Kingdom against individuals who allegedly manufactured over 11 million counterfeit Xanax pills in garden sheds and garages. The group sold the pills via the darkweb to customers in the U.K. and the U.S. 

Customs officials in Hong Kong seized counterfeit pharmaceuticals from three retailers in a major shopping district and a warehouse.