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.
On September 30th, the Public Health Department of Santa Clara County, California updated a public health warning they had issued September 10th about deadly counterfeit 30mg oxycodone pills. The initial warning described “tablets visually appear to be the pharmaceutically manufactured version—they are circular in shape, light blue to light green in color, and have an ‘M’ inside a square stamped on one side and a ‘30’ stamped on the other side. Numerous fatal overdoses have been tied to these tablets, with a strong uptick in fatal overdoses in August 2019.”
32-year-old Grand Junction resident Ashley Romero was the cherished eldest daughter of her close-knit Colorado family. With her warm heart and brilliant, 1,000 watt smile, she made friends everywhere she went. Ashley died on June 11, 2018, after taking half of an oxycodone pill. The pill was fake and actually made with fentanyl.
A Coral Gables, Florida ophthalmologist at the Beautiful Vision Clinic is being investigated for importing counterfeit Botox from China to use on patients. On September 11, 2019, investigators raided the office of Dr. Francesann Ford and seized boxes of Botox that they allege are counterfeits imported from China.
Virtually every state in the Union has a serious problem with counterfeit pills made with fentanyl. During the month of September we have found reports of counterfeit pill deaths in Alaska, California, and Washington.
A medical doctor in Burley, Idaho has pleaded guilty to charges he used illegally imported breast implants from China on nine patients in his care. Dr. Temp Ray Patterson has admitted in court that he misled his patients by telling them the breast implants were FDA-approved; when he knew for a fact they were not.
U.S. Attorney Robert Brewer has issued a public safety warning concerning deadly counterfeit oxycodone pills in San Diego County. NBC San Diego reports, “The U.S. Attorney’s Office said border seizures, prosecutions and overdoses in San Diego County are on pace to reach all-time highs by the end of 2019. The Medical Examiner’s Office reports 50 confirmed fentanyl-related fatal overdoses so far this year, and says 28 more suspected cases are waiting to be confirmed.”
A Utah man has pleaded not guilty to charges related to the distribution of fentany pills. A complaint filed on July 3 alleges that he distributed more than 10,000 counterfeit oxycodone pills made with fentanyl over the course of 2016, and that a woman in Murray, Utah died of fentanyl poisoning after taking pills he sold her.
The Partnership for Safe Medicines and the Alliance for Safe Online Pharmacies (ASOP Global), two public health advocacy groups focused on patient safety and the secure pharmaceutical supply chain, released an infographic today to call attention to the human toll that counterfeit medicines take on children in low and middle income countries.
On March 21, 2019, 22-year-old Jacob Reis of Cary, Illinois pleaded guilty to charges he gave his 19-year-old girlfriend, Rachel Ramirez, a deadly fentanyl-laced counterfeit pill that killed her, the Northwest Herald reports. According to a 2018 article in the Northwest Herald, Reis and another young woman, Reanna Salas, were originally charged with providing the…
Grand Junction resident Andrea Thomas lost her daughter Ashley to counterfeit oxycodone in June 2018. Now, she is determined to protect others. Her new foundation, Voices for Awareness, promotes awareness about substance abuse and self-harm. On July 27, 2019, the organization will hold its first conference—free to the public—at Costa Mesa University, as well as the “Fight for Awareness,” a professional boxing event in which fighters from all over Colorado will dedicate their match to a loved one lost to substance abuse or suicide.