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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.

HIV-Positive Advocate Reminds Americans About the Dangers of Imported Drugs

March 6, 2019

It isn’t just policymakers who believe drug importation will open the U.S. drug supply to counterfeits. In this editorial, published in the Times of Northwest Indiana on March 6, 2019, HIV-positive advocate Brandon Macsata explains that his own physician objected to ordering medicine from Canadian online pharmacies:

“It never crossed my mind that I might have been taking counterfeit medicine, or that the medicines meant to control my HIV could be compromising my immune system. So when my doctor found out, she told me to stop immediately. She warned me that online pharmacies often sell counterfeit drugs.”

Five People Charged Over The Death Of Ashley Romero From A Fake Fentanyl Pill

February 26, 2019

The U.S. Department of Justice handed down a superseding indictment in federal court charging five people for their roles in the counterfeit fentanyl pill death of a 32-year-old mother in Colorado in June 2018…

Nevada Woman Admits To Selling Counterfeit Fentanyl Pills That Killed

December 5, 2018

The U.S. Department of Justice announced a guilty plea from Tianna Cordova in a Nevada case. Cordova admitted to selling drugs, including the counterfeit pill made with fentanyl that killed 26-year-old Christina Kuerner…

Dealer Charged After The Counterfeit Pill He Sold Killed One In Mount Vernon

November 20, 2018

Charges announced against John Mendieta of Mount Vernon, Washington. Mendieta allegedly sold a counterfeit Percocet pill to 27-year-old Ronald Schweigert, who died after taking it. Schweigert was one of four Mount Vernon residents to die after taking a counterfeit Percocet pill laced with fentanyl in less than 45 days…

Missouri Teenager Almost Killed By A Counterfeit Oxycodone Pill Containing Carfentanil

November 9, 2018

The U.S. Department of Justice received a guilty plea from Gage S. Lankas in federal court. Lankas sold hundreds of Xanax pills and 14 oxycodone pills to a 17-year-old. The oxycodone pills were counterfeits made with carfentanil and almost killed the young man who only took half of one…

Pennsylvania Woman Killed By Counterfeit Fentanyl Pill; Dealer Charged With Her Death

November 8, 2018

A grand jury in Northampton County in Pennsylvania charged Gustavo Rivera after prosecutors made their case that he was the person who sold a counterfeit Percocet pill that contained fentanyl to Kara Heckenberger. She died after taking that pill on August 9, 2017…

Man Admits To Selling Counterfeit Xanax Pill That Killed A Connecticut Resident

November 6, 2018

The U.S. Department of Justice announced a guilty plea from a Connecticut man who was distributing counterfeit Xanax. Data retrieved from the mobile phone of a Seymour resident that died led police to Kamil Golebiowski. In June 2017, two packages shipped from Canada to him were found to contain approximately 1,400 counterfeit Xanax…

Fake Oxycodone Dealer Indicted in San Diego After a Man Dies from Fentanyl Poisoning

October 31, 2018

The U.S. Justice Department (DOJ) have announced the arrest and indictment of a 23 year-old Highland, California man accused of selling counterfeit oxycodone pills that killed a La Jolla resident.

Nevada Woman Charged With Selling Fake Fentanyl Pill That Killed A 26-Year-Old

October 31, 2018

A Henderson, Nevada woman has been charged in federal court for allegedly selling the counterfeit oxycodone pills made with fentanyl that killed 26-year-old Christiana Kuerner on March 14, 2017. Assistant Special Agent in Charge Daniel Neill of the DEA said fentanyl seizures are increasing in the southern part of the state, with 20,000-30,000 pills being found at a time…

Football Player In Texas Killed By Counterfeit Pills Made With Carfentanil

October 22, 2018

A former Rice University football player has been charged with causing the death of a 21-year-old student after selling the young man counterfeit hydrocodone pills made with carfentanil. Carfentanil is one of fentanyl’s many analogues. A lethal dose is so small it cannot be seen with the human eye…

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