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.

UK Paramedic Dies of Accidental Overdose of Drugs Sold Through Foreign Online Pharmacy

May 27, 2011

The death of a London paramedic has been ruled accidental after she ingested a fatal dose of pills purchased from a foreign online pharmacy.

Lorna Lambden, 27, a paramedic and Masters Degree student at the University of Hertfordshire, was found dead in her home on December 17, 2010, after ingesting pills purchased over the internet without a prescription, reports the Daily Mail.

The coroner, Edward Thomas, found a fatal level of the drug amitriptyline in her blood. Thomas added that the medication had not been prescribed to Lambden, but suspected she purchased an equivalent called “amitrip” from a foreign internet-based pharmacy.

Said Thomas, “…four milligrams [worth of amitriptyline were] found in her blood, and a therapeutic level is about one milligram.” He went on to say that after taking the drug she collapsed and suffered a cardiac arrhythmia, reports the St. Albans Review.

Lambden’s family knew that she had trouble sleeping and suspect she purchased the medication to rest between twelve hour shifts with the London Ambulance Service, reports the London Metro.

Lambden’s mother, a retired accident and emergency sister, said: “It’s terrible that these drugs are so freely available online and people can buy them without seeing any warnings about the harm they can do.”

Coroner Thomas said: “Amitriptyline can stop the heart and I think that is likely here. Lorna would not have known it had happened. It would not have been like a heart attack.”

US Doctor Sold Fake Cancer Drugs to Patients: Gets 1 Year in Jail

April 21, 2011

On April 15, 2011, Kurt Walter Donsbach, 75, of San Diego, was sentenced to a year in county jail and probation of ten years after pleading guilty in December to 13 felony charges including unlawfully selling fake drugs to cancer patients, practicing medicine without a license and attempted grand theft.

Father Asserts Expired Drugs Killed Infant

January 14, 2011

Police questioned Kashmiri hospital employees after an infant allegedly died from an injection with expired medication.

Fake Doctor Sold Fake Drugs in San Diego

December 14, 2010

Concluding an investigation begun in 2009, a Bonita man plead guilty today of 13 felony charges including unlawfully practicing medicine without a license and unlawfully selling or delivering misbranded drugs with intent to defraud or mislead.

Nigerian Children Killed by Contaminated Teething Medicine

February 23, 2009

Nigerian Children Killed by Contaminated Teething Medicine View larger map What: A toxic chemical mixed into a teething medicine for babies has killed at least 84 children in Nigeria as of February 16, 2009. The children died after taking My Pikin Baby Teething Mixture, a syrup for teething pain, according to Nigeria’s Health Ministry. Health…

84 Children Are Killed by Medicine in Nigeria

February 6, 2009

A toxic chemical mixed into a teething medicine for babies has killed at least 84 children in Nigeria, health officials there said Friday, more than tripling the toll in a wave of infant deaths that began in late November. The children died after taking a medicine called My Pikin Baby Teething Mixture, a syrup for…

Woman dies after buying banned slimming pills on the internet

June 27, 2008

A young woman desperate to lose weight died in agony a day after taking a lethal dose of a banned fat-burning drug she bought over the internet. Selena Walrond, who weighed 15st and was 5ft 3in tall, was so obsessed with being slim that she took five times the recommended daily dose. By Rebecca Camber27…

Death toll from contaminated drug rises to 14 in S China

January 24, 2008

GUANGZHOU, Jan. 23 (Xinhua) — A 37-year-old man has died from the effects of a contaminated drug given to patients at a south China hospital almost two years ago, bringing the death toll to 14. The latest victim died on Wednesday afternoon at the No. 3 Zhongshan Hospital in Guangzhou, capital of southern China's Guangdong…

Don’t Harbour the Patent Pirates

November 14, 2007

People are calling Marcia Bergeron the proverbial canary in the coalmine. The British Columbia woman was found dead in her home last December, filled by chemicals laced with lethal heavy metals believed to have been packed into a counterfeit pill she bought over the internet. She had ingested a drug produced in south-east Asia or…

Newlywed groom dies from sex drug side-effect

October 21, 2007

LAHORE: A newlywed groom died on Sunday after taking sex drugs in the Green Town police precinct. Green Town police Sub Inspector Muhammad Ashiq said Shahbaz Ahmad (30), a resident of Green Town, got married on Thursday. During initial interrogation, he said, it was disclosed that on Saturday night Shahbaz after taking sex drugs left…