Fake Drugs Have Real Consequences for Patients
Black market medicine is terrible for patients all over the world, including Americans. At best, counterfeit and substandard medicine may not adequately treat a patient's illness. At worst, counterfeit medicines may cause poisoning or death.
Each of the following stories mentions people who have been sickened or died after being treated with fake medicine. Every day, American patients are harmed when they break the closed U.S. drug supply.
In a brutal month spanning March 23 to April 23, 2016, fourteen people in the Sacramento area died of suspected drug overdoses, and 38 others were poisoned. At the beginning authorities had no idea why there was a sudden spike in overdose deaths and suspected “contaminated drugs.” They would not know until the month was out and the recovered pills had been analyzed that these deaths were caused by counterfeit pills made with deadly fentanyl. One of those who was lost was a 28-year-old father of three, Jerome Butler.
Carrie Luther, who lost her son to counterfeit Xanax made with fentanyl three years ago, travelled to Tennessee with Partnership for Safe Medicines Executive Director Shabbir Safdar to share her story with the Healthy Tennessee Opioid Summit.
The U.S. Department of Justice indicted three men in Utah for the death of Jaydon Rogers earlier this year. Adam Patrick Hemmelgarn, Tyler Jabbar Perry, and Christian Scott Jimerson allegedly sold the counterfeit fentanyl pill to Rogers who was found unresponsive and died two days later at the hospital…
A Petaluma woman sits in jail awaiting sentencing after pleading guilty to felony child-endangerment in the April death of her 16-year-old son. The teenager died as the result of ingesting a counterfeit Xanax pill containing fentanyl. His mother is facing up to 12 years in prison when sentenced. Her co-defendant in the case has been arraigned but has yet to face trial.
The U.S. DOJ indicted Christopher Huggett of Grand Junction, Colorado on one count of distributing fentanyl that resulted in death and one count of distributing fentanyl that resulted in serious bodily harm. Huggett allegedly sold counterfeit pain pills made with fentanyl. Emergency medical services were not able to revive Jonathan Ellington of Carbondale. The second victim is lucky to be alive…
The evening of November 29, 2016, Atlanta-area realtor Jennifer Bryant Hodge came home to find her 23-year-old son Robbie collapsed in the bathroom. EMTs rushed Robbie to the hospital, where he was declared brain dead. Hodge would learn that her son had taken a counterfeit Xanax that contained a fatal dose of benzodiazepines.
Partnership for Safe Medicines Announces Creation of Fentanyl Council to Spotlight Impact on U.S. Law Enforcement, Explore Proliferation of Pill Presses
Maggie Crowley managed an Outback in Royal Palm Beach, Florida until September 1, 2016, when she was killed by a counterfeit painkiller she got from a coworker. Almost two years later, her close-knit family is still reeling from the loss.
In this editorial, which appeared in the Austin American-Statesman on April 27, 2018, Georgia resident Lisa Hicks warns readers about the counterfeit prescription pills that killed her son in 2015:
“One needn’t be an addict to die from an overdose..Joe had a solid job and was studying for a degree in exercise science…One day, he pulled a muscle at the gym. He was in serious pain, so he bought what he thought were prescription painkillers from a friend. Those pills turned out to be counterfeit. And they contained a deadly amount of fentanyl. The next day, my son was gone.”
A new report released April 10, 2018 by The Partnership for Safe Medicines (PSM) illustrates the growing deadly toll that illegally-imported fentanyl is having on communities throughout the U.S. PSM’s analysis confirms reports of counterfeit medicines made with fentanyl in 43 states, with fentanyl-related deaths confirmed in 22 states. The updated findings follow a report released by PSM last September that found a presence of counterfeit fentanyl in 40 states and related deaths in 16 states.