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.

Black Market Cosmetic Injectables Threaten Americans

August 10, 2015

The United States has been experiencing an uptick in the number of patients being treated with fake and misbranded injectable cosmetic treatments. Learn more about these cases, which are one of the most common ways Americans are exposed to dangerous counterfeit medications. In June 2014, Elva Navarro, a spa owner in McAllen, Texas, pleaded guilty…

Dallas Pair Arrested After Client Found Dead from Fake Beauty Treatments

March 18, 2015

Denise Ross and Jimmy Joe “Alicia” Clark have been arrested in Dallas on murder charges stemming from their use of Hydrogel as a beauty injection treatment. Wykesha Reid’s body was found wrapped in gauze in Ross and Clark’s abandoned beauty salon. Even before Reid’s death, authorities had sought Ross and Clark for practicing medicine without…

California-based Company Sued for Allegedly Implanting Back Surgery Patients With Counterfeit Spinal Hardware

December 12, 2014

The former owner of a California hospital has pleaded guilty to participating in an illegal medical kickbacks conspiracy, and a medical equipment manufacturer has recalled of all of its spinal fusion hardware due to “performance failures that could cause patient harm.” The case is linked to more than two dozen lawsuits filed alleging that counterfeit…

Daniel Burke Shares his Perspective on the Danger Fake Online Pharmacies Pose at Interchange 2014

December 2, 2014

Special Agent Burke shared cases such as grandmother Betty Hunter’s run-in with counterfeit cancer medication.

USA Today Reports Counterfeit Drugs A Huge Portion of Fake Consumer Products Available for Sale Online

May 6, 2014

From chainsaws that come apart while in use to medications that don’t work or make people sick, products for sale online are increasingly being found to be counterfeited. An April 30th report in USA Today points out that dangerous fake goods are easily found for sale on the Internet, and counterfeit medication numbers among the…

Texas Experiences Rash of Fake Dermal Filler Injuries, 3 People So Far Indicted in Scam

March 25, 2014

In Hidalgo, Texas, three different beauticians are accused of injecting patients with toxic, non-medical silicone or other liquid plastics instead of an FDA-approved dermal filler. In all, 30 patients report health issues, and at least one has died. On the 19th of the month, Elva Navarro, owner of Bella Face and Body Spa in McAllen,…

Drugs purchased from a legitimate-looking online pharmacy killed an American ExPat

January 29, 2013

Marcia Bergeron died in British Columbia in December 2006 from heavy metal poisoning caused by the prescription medications she had purchased from a fake online pharmacy. Friends and family were shocked, because Marcia’s health was robust, and she thought she was suffering from the common flu.

Excerpt of Maxine Blount's Obituary, St. Louis Post-Dispatch, October 28, 2002

Missouri Businesswoman Dies After Fake Anemia Drugs Delay Cancer Treatments

January 1, 2012

In March 2002, oncology nurses in Missouri at discovered that their patient, Maxine Blount, had been taking Procrit that was only one-twentieth the strength it should have been. The counterfeit did not treat her anemia, leading to delays between chemotherapy infusions that allowed her cancer to advance much more rapidly. She died in October 2002.

In 2005, her brother testified before Congress: if her drugs had been genuine “she would have lived longer…experienced much less pain and suffering, and have been able to spend more time with her family.”

Honoring the 5th Anniversary of Marcia Bergeron’s Passing

December 6, 2011

  Five years ago today, Marcia Bergeron suddenly passed away. Marcia thought she had a common virus, but her symptoms were actually caused by the poisonous fake medications, and instead of getting better, she died suddenly of heavy metals poisoning. The coroner’s report determined that Marcia died of cardiac arrhythmia caused by metal toxicity. The…

Rick Roberts, a counterfeit drug victim, spoke at the 2010 Interchange

September 27, 2011