The Partnership for Safe Medicines has been publishing information about the counterfeit drug problem around the world for more than a decade. With experts leading the organization and a committed and passionate set of writers and editors, our content is more in-depth than many other sources, which simply copy links to the news from other websites.
It isn’t just U.S. regulators that warn against ordering medicines from unlicensed pharmacies. Canadian regulators have the same concerns about the safety of unapproved medical products.
Canadian criminal gangs have sold illicit fentanyl in the U.S., Australia, New Zealand and Japan. Costa Rica shut down a domestic fentanyl pill operation. More news in the Kenya, Nigeria, Sri Lanka, and the U.K.
China agreed to cooperate with the U.S. in stopping pill press and precursor sales. An Indian company launched a U.S. recall of contaminated eye drops. Counterfeit medicine news overseas and in the U.S.
In September, the Partnership for Safe Medicines and others filed a supplement to our 2021 Citizen’s Petition asking the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services not to authorize Florida’s Canadian Drug Importation Plan.
As of September 2023, at least 3 Americans have been hospitalized because of fake semaglutide products. The Treasury Department sanctioned more people and businesses it says are trafficking fentanyl into the U.S. More news in the EU, Nigeria and three U.S. states.
For those following the Cooper Davis Act (S.1080) which would require social media platforms to report drug dealing when they discover it, the Congressional Budget Office has analyzed the legislation and said it will “not significantly increase net direct spending” and “not increase on-budget deficits”.
Interpol announced the results of Operation Pangea and U.S. CBP reported on pill press seizures. News about counterfeit medicine in the U.S, Belgium, China, and Indonesia,
FDA warned about contamination in 26 different over-the-counter eye drops. Ten New York residents were indicted in another black market HIV medicine scheme. Additional stories in California, Florida, and Texas.
Risk Statement: Consumption of undeclared diclofenac could result in serious adverse events that include cardiovascular, gastrointestinal, renal, and anaphylaxis in patients taking concomitant NSAIDs and/or anticoagulants, such as Warfarin, in those who have allergies to diclofenac, or those with underlying cardiovascular, gastrointestinal, renal, and hepatic illnesses.
A delay in Florida’s response to FDA questions means the agency’s decision won’t be by October 31 after all.
Sketchy online vendors are selling “retatrutide” even though it’s still in clinical trials. A man who sold U.S. pharmacies secondhand prescription medicines was sentenced. Domestic and international stories about fake drugs.
Almost 200 packages of fake Ozempic traveled from Austria to the U.K. via Germany. An 11th man was sentenced in a $52mm cough medicine counterfeiting scheme. Europol reports the seizure of medical products. Additional news about pill presses in Mexico and the U.S.
The leaders of the “Genesis II Church of Health and Healing” received a cumulative 34 years in prison. A NYC pharmacist pleaded guilty to fraud and money laundering after selling black market HIV drugs. Pill press operations busted in NYC and Rhode Island.
The FDA is cracking down on lax safety testing of raw drug ingredients. Major players in HIV drug and cough syrup counterfeiting schemes pleaded guilty in federal court.
Counterfeit Avastin in Pakistan blinded over 70 retinopathy patients.
CBP at JFK Airport intercepted 14 pairs of pill press dies. Additional news about illicit pill presses in five states.
Shabbir Imber Safdar, executive director of the Partnership for Safe Medicines, will participate in the upcoming United States Patent and Trademark Office Roundtable: Future strategies in anti-counterfeiting and anti-piracy.
USFDA is concerned that eight companies, including two pharmacies, are illegally marketing unapproved ophthalmic drug products that pose a heightened risk to users. Counterfeit pills make the DHS’ threat assessment list for 2024.
Data recently shared in the Morbidity and Mortality Weekly Report highlights a growing problem: Counterfeit pill availability is rising in the drug supply chain, but also the illicit drug market.
Running slides between conference sessions and during breaks is a great way to fit in a little extra information. Use these slides to teach your community about counterfeit medicines in the U.S.
A U.K. couple was sentenced for selling 65 different brands of unapproved medicines. Counterfeit therapeutic medicines reported in India, Turkey and Pakistan. News about counterfeit pills made of dangerous substances in 13 states
CDC data shows an alarming climb in pill deaths, particularly in western states. Narcan, which reverses opioid overdoses, is now available over-the-counter. Fake medicine seized in Las Vegas. News involving counterfeit pills in 17 states.
The FDA asked Florida to clarify its drug importation plan. More contaminated eye drops in the U.S. Fake medicine, including a cancer treatment, in Mexico. U.S. patients treated with illegally imported Botox and lip filler. News about counterfeit pills made with fentanyl in 18 states.
On August 3, the Partnership for Safe Medicines submitted comment on the U.S. Patent and Trademark Office’s Future Strategies in Anticounterfeiting and Antipiracy.
Poisonous “Nuez de la India” made with yellow oleander. More about black market weight loss medicine. Federal authorities arrested a fugitive for selling fake COVID preventatives. News about counterfeit pills in 24 states.
On August 16, 2023 Executive Director Shabbir Safdar asked senior FDA officials to require wholesalers to provide pharmacists with complete transaction logs for every medicine they dispense until the track-and-trace system is fully online.
Hospitals are being impacted by drug shortages. More U.S. sanctions against Sinaloa Cartel members. Uzbeki courts pursue the fake cough syrup supply chain. News about counterfeit pills in 15 states.
A lawsuit over fake Surgicel hemostat concluded. New research spotlights fraud in sports supplements. A recently jailed cough syrup counterfeiter also settled allegations of violating the Controlled Substances Act. Fake medicines reported in Canada, Egypt, India, and Mexico.
Federal judges sentenced two men who ran a fentanyl ring from a Canadian prison, a pharmaceutical exec who trafficked fake cough syrup, and a black market drug trafficker. Additional stories about counterfeit pills and related casualties in 21 states.
Pill presses prohibited in Washington state. WHO issued an alert about counterfeit cough syrup. Jury convicted four in Florida who peddled bogus COVID-19 cure. Prosecutions in 11 states involved the trafficking of counterfeit pills and related deaths.
Legislation moves forward in the Senate for social media platforms to report dealers to the DEA. A Shanghai resident sentenced for selling counterfeit cat medicine. Missouri resident sentenced for injecting clients with non-FDA-approved Botox and fillers, hurting multiple people. Stories of counterfeit pills in 17 states.
S.1080, which requires big tech platforms to report drug dealers they discover to the DEA, passed out of the Judiciary committee and is headed to the Senate floor.
Global coalition launched to combat synthetic drugs. One-third of packages examined in Operation Broader Sword contained unapproved medicines, medical devices, or precursor chemicals. Prosecutions in seven states involved the trafficking of fentanyl pills and related deaths.
The FDA warned Safe Chain Solutions for trading with unlicensed sellers. Other black market HIV drug cases are moving forward. The CDC reported a spike in fentanyl/xylazine deaths. Authorities seized a pill press, smuggled codeine and millions of counterfeit pills made of fentanyl. Prosecutions involved the trafficking of and deaths related to fentanyl pills in 10 states.
In this editorial, which appeared in the Corpus Christi Caller on June 30, 2023, Doctor of Pharmacy Kenneth McCall shares his negative experience with imported medicines.
“On April 20, 2022, FDA warned consumers not to purchase or use “Artri Ajo King” as FDA has received adverse event reports, including of liver toxicity and death, associated with the use of “Artri Ajo King” and similarly named products. While the Agency has not sampled and tested this product from your inventory to date, be advised of our serious concern about the safety of these products and that it is your legal responsibility under federal law to ensure this product does not contain any undeclared and potentially harmful ingredients.”
Fake Ozempic has been found in the U.S. The leader of an HIV drug counterfeiting ring got 15 years. The Justice Department indicted Chinese companies and arrested two executives who allegedly sold fentanyl precursors into the U.S. Tainted cough syrup reached at least 12 countries. Stories about counterfeit pills in 20 states.
On June 16, 2023 Novo Nordisk warned that a fake version of the diabetes drug Ozempic had been found in the U.S. The injection pen, which contained insulin instead of semaglutide, was reportedly purchased at a retail pharmacy. It’s one of a flurry of incidents involving Ozempic and its sister drugs.
More than 50% of the pills investigators bought in Mexican pharmacies were fake–and many contained illicit drugs. COFEPRIS warned about fake immunosuppressants and anemia drugs. A drug dealer who targeted Carrollton, Texas teens pleaded guilty. More news about pills seizures and prosecutions in 20 states.
When medical licensing boards take up cases of misconduct, they face some real challenges because criminal cases resolved without trials may leave almost no public evidence. Documenting evidence of wrongdoing in sentencing memorandums helps licensing boards, and also patient victims, to see the full scope of a case.
The FDA increased facility inspections 44% in 2022 and prevented 222 drug shortages. Men in Colorado and Virginia were sentenced for distributing unapproved prescription drugs. News about drug seizures and prosecutions trafficking counterfeit pills in 22 states.
William Merlino, whose weight loss products killed a U.K. man, will serve almost 3 years in prison. The U.S. imposed sanctions on pill press makers in China and New Mexico. Regulators found more fake semaglutide—this time in Australia. Prosecutions and pill and pill press seizures in 24 states.
North Carolina made using a pill press to make counterfeit controlled pills a felony. Black market and fake medicines were reported in Canada and Mexico. More news involved counterfeit or illegally imported pills in 22 states.
With the passage of HB 25 in the Texas State Senate and Governor Abbott’s impending signature, Texas is poised to become the seventh state in the U.S. to attempt to create a program to import medicine from Canada. This policy has failed in six other states, cost taxpayers millions of dollars, and drawn opposition from the Canadian government.
Grieving families continue to mourn the ones they lost to dubious and counterfeit medicine. Three men were convicted of manufacturing and selling counterfeit pills in the U.K. Additional news involving counterfeit pills made with fentanyl in twenty states.
Families across the country observed Fentanyl Awareness Day. Hidden pharmaceuticals in arthritis “supplements.” Fake medicine in Ireland, India and Australia. Additional news involved counterfeit pills made with fentanyl in 17 states.
The FDA has issued consumer warnings on three different dietary supplement sold as herbal compounds intended to treat joint pain, rheumatoid arthritis, gout, and liver detoxification. Each product contains undeclared prescription drug ingredients.
Federal agencies report the results of Operations Last Mile and SpecTor. Fake medicines in Mexico, Nigeria and the Philippines. Pill press seizures in Texas and West Virginia. News involving counterfeit fentanyl or meth pills in 19 states.
FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE – April 26, 2023– West Sacramento, CA, Gear Isle is voluntarily recalling the following products listed in the table below to the consumer level. FDA analysis has found the products to be tainted with prescription drug ingredients.
TruVision Health LLC is recalling the dietary supplement products listed below because they contain the unapproved dietary ingredients hordenine and/or octodrine/DMHA (1,5-Dimethylhexylamine).
Canada resists the U.S. pilfering its drug supply. Officials warn about semaglutide sales on social media, a dangerous appetite supplement and black market cosmetic injectables. A California doctor will pay over a million for treating patients with illegally purchased drugs. More reports of tainted cough syrup, and news about fake pills made of fentanyl and other drugs in 20 states.
A new infographic created by the Partnership for Safe Medicines and the American Medical Women’s Association educates healthcare professionals on the importance of only sourcing drugs from within the secure U.S. drug supply chain…
This week: A California man is among those killed by counterfeit pills at Mexican pharmacies. A 6th lawsuit was filed over pill dealers on Snapchat. Fake cancer treatments reported in the UAE, Kyrgyzstan and India. A new counterfeit drug bust in the U.K. Additional news involving counterfeit painkillers and fake Adderall in over 20 states.
Amoxicillin shortages underscore the need to buy from licensed U.S. pharmacies. The Justice Department indicted Sinaloa cartel members. Xylazine mixed with fentanyl is an emergent threat. Another Canadian is being tried for pill trafficking. News about prosecutions, seizures and deaths relating to counterfeit prescription pills in 24 states.
A Canadian doctor working in the U.S. will not be allowed to prescribe Canadian drugs. Washington legislators passed a law to regulate misuse of pill presses. Fake Xanax cases conclude in Wisconsin and Virginia. Crackdown on drug counterfeits in India. Mexican regulators warned about more fake drugs. News involving counterfeit pills in 23 states and the U.K..
The FDA approved over-the-counter Narcan. Congress is crafting legislation to regulate xylazine. A police union executive allegedly imported a fentanyl analogue and prescription pills containing controlled substances. Prosecutions, pill seizures and deaths in 16 U.S. states.
PSM provided our thoughts to the US Senate Health, Education, Labor, and Pensions committee when they requested input on the authorization of the Pandemic All Hazards Preparedness Act.
The DEA warned about a sharp increase in the trafficking of fentanyl mixed with xylazine. The U.S. FDA warned to a supplement manufacturer and a website selling ivermectin to stop selling unapproved drugs. A Montana man who hid his pill press operation under a haystack has been sentenced to 16 years in prison. More news in 15 U.S. states.
The “Cooper Davis Act” would require social media platforms to report users of social media found to be selling controlled substances on their platforms to the Drug Enforcement Administration.
H.B. 25 would require Texas’ Health and Human Services Commission to design a program for bulk importing prescription medicines under 21 USC 384 of the U.S. Food, Drug, and Cosmetics Act, more commonly known as a Section 804 State Importation Program (SIP). Below, we outline the many reasons this proposal is unsafe and unworkable.
Federal legislators reintroduced the CAST Act, which would strengthen penalties for using pill presses to make fake medicines. Health Canada warned parents not to buy unapproved cough syrups advertised on Facebook. Mexican soldiers seized almost two million fentanyl pills in Tijuana. News about prosecutions, pill seizures and deaths in 21 U.S. states.
This recall has been initiated because the Product is labeled as a dietary supplement that, in the opinion of the government, makes unsubstantiated health claims that the product will prevent, treat, or cure COVID-19.
A company is facing charges for medical device fraud. Mexican regulators shut down pharmacies for selling fake prescription pills made with fentanyl, something that has been happening since at least 2019. International news about contaminated cough syrup, and about prosecutions involving counterfeit pills and fake pill seizures in 20 U.S. states.
On Tuesday, February 28, 2023, the Partnership for Safe Medicines convened pharmacists, law enforcement, policy experts and family advocates to educate legislators about key issues in the fight against counterfeit medicines. Learn more and watch the briefing here.
PSM’s executive director spoke at Senator Rick Scott’s roundtable. The US FDA acted to restrict the illicit shipment of xylazine. Investigators have traced the deaths of 84 children in Gambia and Uzbekistan to counterfeit cough syrup. 57 people in three states were charged with selling fentanyl pills and other drugs and a doctor was sentenced for faking a stem cell treatment. Additional news about fake pills in 30 states.
Executive Director Shabbir Safdar urged Congress to demand accountability from social media platforms at Senator Scott’s roundtable discussion about the fentanyl crisis.
PSM hosted a congressional briefing keynoted by Senator Rick Scott. The U.S. imposed sanctions against alleged suppliers of precursor chemicals to the Sinaloa Cartel. Deaths, prosecutions and seizures related to fake painkillers, Xanax and Adderall in 21 states. Counterfeit medicine stories in India and Algeria.
The FDA reminded U.S. residents that it doesn’t regulate medicine made for other countries. CBP seized tramadol and other prescription drugs. Mexico shut down a fentanyl pill lab, and arrested a man who allegedly controls the cartels’ fake pill trade. Prescription pills made with fentanyl in 19 states.
Connecticut is the 28th state in which PSM has documented the finding of counterfeit Adderall pills…
Risk Statement: PrimeZen Black 6000 capsules containing sildenafil and tadalafil may interact with nitrates found in some prescription drugs (such as nitroglycerin) and may cause a significant drop in blood pressure that may be life threatening. People with diabetes, high blood pressure, high cholesterol, or heart disease often take nitrates.
Register for PSM’s upcoming congressional briefing in Washington DC. The WHO says contaminated infant cough syrups have killed 300 children. News of deaths, seizures and prosecutions related to fake prescription pills in 20 states and the nation’s capital.
This week: Investigators found pharmacies selling fentanyl and meth pills disguised as real medicine. A grand jury indicted “healing magnet” sellers. Regulators addressed fake Mpox treatments and a questionable pharmacy. CBP seized tramadol. More families joined a lawsuit against Snapchat. Additional news involving fake pills in17 states.
A Salt Lake City physician allegedly faked almost 2,000 COVID-19 cards and gave fake injections, too. The House Energy and Commerce Committee held a roundtable about Snapchat drug dealers. Dozens more stories about counterfeit pills made of fentanyl and other dangerous substances in Canada, Wales, and 24 U.S. states.
Updates to cases involving a fake pharmacy that imported and sold controlled medicines to U.S. patients, a man who sold used and counterfeit cosmetic surgery devices, and a couple that sold unapproved substances as smart drugs. Additional news involving counterfeit pills made of fentanyl in 17 states.
Shabbir Imber Safdar, Executive Director of the Partnership for Safe Medicines, released the following statement in response to the New York State Senate’s passage of Senate Bill S604, which would create a wholesale prescription drug importation program in New York.
More families sue Snapchat. A Scottish man was sentenced for a high-volume fake Valium scheme. Police in Mumbai are investigating a death related to a fake iron injection. Prosecutions, deaths and seizures related to counterfeit pills made with fentanyl in 18 states and Washington, D.C.
The U.S. Drug Enforcement Administration released its 2021 Fentanyl Profiling Program report examining trends in how and where the drug is being found. Here are some facts from the report about how fentanyl is being found in counterfeit pills.
The FDA issued a warning to a rogue pharmacy website. The DEA and Discovery released educational resources for school children. News related to counterfeit pills made with fentanyl and other drugs in 16 states.
This week: A frightening increase in teen drug deaths; prosecutions of criminals selling fake medical masks and illegally imported Bulgarian drugs; fake medicine in Mexico, the EU, Canada, and seven more countries; substantial prosecutions, seizures and pill deaths in 28 states.
December 14, 2022 saw the launch of a new public health initiative about counterfeit medicines, fronted by cult action star Danny Trejo, who appears in a PSA directing Americans to “verify before you buy” at Safe.Pharmacy.
Colorado submitted its application to the FDA to import medicine from Canada on December 5. Like other Canadian importation plans, this one isn’t safe and it’s unlikely to save money.
Federal courts sentenced a New Jersey man for selling fake coronavirus prevention products, and indicted a Florida woman who allegedly imported and sold unapproved Botox. A new database shows non-fatal opioid overdoses across the country. Additional stories about fake medicine in India and Nigeria and counterfeit pills made with fentanyl in 16 states and Canada.
On November 22, 2022, San Francisco doctor Lindsay Clark pleaded guilty to a misdemeanor for receiving non-FDA approved drugs and devices. She injected her patients with these black market drugs, and she made a million dollars doing it.
It’s very important to verify that your pharmacy is state-licensed. A California doctor just pleaded guilty to illegally importing medicines; another is going to prison for fake COVID treatments. Fake pill news in 15 states and Mexico.
December 1st is World AIDS Day. If you are HIV positive, be aware that fake HIV treatments that have been found in the U.S. Look here for more information, and to download the infographic on medicine safety we created with help from The ADAP Advocacy Association.
When Governor Ron DeSantis signed HB19 into law in June 2019, he said that Florida was leading “the way toward affordable prescription drugs,” but over the past three years not a single person has received even one pill imported from Canada, and the state has spent millions.
Six out of ten fentanyl pills contain a lethal dose. The FDA sends warning letters for violations of the Food, Drug, and Cosmetic Act. A fake anesthesia ring was shut down in Pakistan. 23 more stories include news about pressed pills in 13 states.
Police in India busted a large scale fake cancer drug operation; additional counterfeit news in England, Austria and Mexico. CBP in Ohio reported seizing non-FDA approved cosmetic injectables. Seizures, prosecutions and deaths involving counterfeit pills in 18 U.S. states.
Soothing stress with prescription pills from online sellers can deadly; look here for safer strategies.
The FDA warned healthcare providers about xylazine in illicit drugs. Fake prescription pills continued to flood the U.S., with reports of more than 135,000 fentanyl pills seized, four guilty pleas, six sentencings, and related news in 18 states. Counterfeit medicine incidents were reported in Indonesia and India.
Three men were sentenced for a fentanyl-pill operation based in Washington state. 19 Yemeni children are dead as a result of smuggled leukemia medicine. Additional news about pressed pills in Canada, the U.K., 13 U.S. states, and one U.S. territory.
The FDA warned a supplement company to stop selling fake COVID treatments. A Puerto Rican woman was fined for injecting spa clients with liquid silicone. Large counterfeit pill trafficking rings were busted in Massachusetts and Washington state and news about fake pills in 16 additional states.
With seizures of counterfeit prescription pills made with fentanyl and other dangerous substances up 500% since 2019, a bipartisan group of Senators and Representatives have introduced S. 4151/H.R. 8175, the Stop Pills That Kill Act, to help law enforcement stop the deadly flow of these pills into our communities.
The NABP’s new report explores locking and suspending websites as a tool to stop fake medicines. Tainted children’s medicine is also in Indonesia. Mexican authorities find more counterfeit drugs. Britain sentences a wholesaler who sold stolen treatments. Deaths, prosecutions and hundreds of thousands of fake prescription pills in 19 states
Watch this page for updates about litigation that families of victims filed in October 2022.
Families sue Snapchat for facilitating the sale of fake pills. Authorities in Michigan charge two men with importing controlled medicines. The LA County Sheriff’s Department seized thousands of illicit pharmaceuticals. Prosecutions, seizures and deaths related to counterfeit prescription pills in 16 states.
Use of these tests may cause serious adverse health consequences or death. There is also a risk of injury if users follow any labeling instructions directing self-collection of nasopharyngeal or oropharyngeal samples.
An Indian man admits to selling Americans smuggled, controlled medicines prescription-free. The U.S. Adderall shortage continues. Dangerous counterfeit medicines were found in Gambia, Mexico and Pakistan. Captagon being produced in Syria. News about counterfeit pills in 14 states and the District of Columbia.
A lawsuit over fake HIV drugs continues to expand. Syracuse University warned students about fake COVID teats. The DEA seized over ten million fentanyl pills in three months. Congress introduced a bill that would shift COVID-19 funds to fentanyl education and prevention in schools. Counterfeit pills stories in 16 states.
Proper Trade LLC/My Stellar Lifestyle was notified by Amazon that laboratory analysis has found the product to be tainted with tadalafil, an ingredient in FDA approved products for treatment of male erectile dysfunction in the family of drugs known as phosphodiesterase (PDE-5) inhibitors.
Best Practices to Rid Social Media of Drug Trafficking will be released tomorrow at 10am Pacific. Sign up to watch in this post.
Xylazine in the illicit drug supply. Over 2.4 million counterfeit pills made with fentanyl seized across the country. Another 24 stories in 17 states.
A parent-led commission will release recommendations for social media companies to curb drug dealers on their platforms on September 27th at 1pm Eastern / 10am Pacific.