News Coverage

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.

Patients, protect yourselves. You are the last line of defense.

November 30, 2022

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.

image of Florida governor with text: Over $24 million spent, no medicine provided to patients"

Why has Florida paid 27 million dollars for an empty warehouse?

November 29, 2022

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.

blue pills embossed with M30 spilling out of a plastic bag

November 28, 2022: DEA Labs show 6 out of 10 fentanyl pills now contain a deadly dose

November 28, 2022

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.

white bags and cardboard boxes piled haphazardly in a storage room

November 21, 2022: India busts counterfeiting operation with $1m in fake cancer drugs.

November 21, 2022

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.

Image of Autumn Leaves with title: Stay Away From Fake Pills This Holiday

Don’t buy pills; seek safer ways to deal with stress

November 16, 2022

Soothing stress with prescription pills from online sellers can deadly; look here for safer strategies.

fragmented pill that contains xylazine

November 14, 2022: The FDA warns about xylazine, a drug found in fake pills in 9 states.

November 14, 2022

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.

November 7, 2022: Washington “Fetty Bros” get decades in prison

November 7, 2022

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.

October 31, 2022: Massachusetts has a fake pill problem, and it’s not alone

October 31, 2022

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. 

Stop Pills that Kill – Legislation to Combat the Fentanyl Crisis

October 27, 2022

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.

October 24, 2022: Suspending domain names of fake pharmacy websites can protect patients, says NABP

October 24, 2022

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

Litigation against Snapchat over fentanyl pill dealers: An overview

October 18, 2022

Watch this page for updates about litigation that families of victims filed in October 2022.

October 17, 2022: Bereaved Families Sue Snapchat Over Pill Dealers

October 17, 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.

FDA Class 1 Recall: Imported, Non-FDA Approved COVID-19 Tests

October 12, 2022

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.

stacked boxes and blisterpacks of tapentadol

October 11, 2022: Indian national pleads guilty to smuggling controlled medicines to sell to U.S. residents without prescriptions

October 11, 2022

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.

October 3, 2022: Lawsuit Over Fake HIV Drugs Expands To 142 Defendants

October 3, 2022

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.

FDA Alert: Dietary Supplement Recalled Due to Prescription Drug Ingredients

September 29, 2022

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.

September 26, 2022: Advocates release Best Practices to Rid Social Media of Drug Trafficking

September 26, 2022

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.

PSM Supports Parent-led Effort to Rid Social Media of Drug Trafficking

September 26, 2022

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.

Register for the launch event.

September 19, 2022: With reports of Adderall shortages, Americans should be wary of counterfeits

September 19, 2022

Fake versions of Adderall are surging; safety advocates urge patients to only buy medicines from licensed U.S. pharmacies. Gambia investigates the deaths of dozens of children potentially poisoned by fake paracetamol syrup. U.S. senators focus on the role of social media platforms in teen counterfeit pill deaths. Counterfeit pill events in 17 states.

Older man in dark suit with crossed arms

The Hollow Promise of Drug Importation Proposals

September 14, 2022

Tom Kubic—an FBI veteran, former president and CEO of the Pharmaceutical Security Institute, and president of PSM’s governing board—has the experience to know that the risks of drug importation are “unacceptably high” and the potential rewards are “virtually nil.”

colorful images of pills sold on snapchat

September 12, 2022: Americans don’t know buying medicine on social media is dangerous.

September 13, 2022

A survey shows over half of Americans who buy their meds online have purchased prescription opioids on social media. Fake medicines in Mexico, Canada, the Philippines and India. Counterfeit pill news in 14 states, and a sharp increase in fentanyl seizures in Tijuana, Mexico.

September 6, 2022: Criminals Still Transhipping Counterfeits into the U.S.

September 7, 2022

This week: FDA initiatives to stop illicit medical products. The sentencing of a Missouri doctor who illegally imported arthritis meds and two people who sold performance enhancing drugs as supplements. Stories about counterfeit pills in Canada, Saudi Arabia and ten U.S. states.

pharmacy website selling white and red pills

August 29, 2022: FDA warns “Tramadol US” to stop selling controlled, unapproved drugs to U.S. residents

August 29, 2022

This week: The FDA warns a fake pharmacy to stop selling unapproved drugs to U.S. residents; an update on the Texan cough syrup ring we covered last year; regulators overseas warn about fake cosmetic injectables; and 27 more stories about counterfeit pills made with fentanyl.

August 22, 2022: U.S. families observe National Fentanyl Prevention and Awareness Day

August 22, 2022

This week: Families across the country observed National Fentanyl Prevention and Awareness Day. Researchers found that over 60% of pills sold illicitly in DC are counterfeit. Stories involving fake prescription pills made with fentanyl in 17 states.

Partnership for Safe Medicines Statement on Fentanyl Awareness Day August 21st, 2022

August 17, 2022

The Partnership for Safe Medicines is proud to support Voices for Awareness and Facing Fentanyl as they recognize a national day of remembrance and action to address the widespread threat of counterfeit drugs and illicit fentanyl poisoning. The organization’s founder, Andrea Thomas, lived through the unthinkable when she lost her daughter, Ashley, to fentanyl poisoning in 2018.

A pill bottle with yellow capsules spilled alongside it

August 15, 2022: Retired doctor guilty of selling harmful industrial chemical as weight loss drug

August 16, 2022

This week: A New Jersey doctor sold DNP for weight loss. Mexican soldiers seized more than 800,000 fentanyl pills. News about counterfeit pills deaths in four states and 17 more stories about pill-related seizures and prosecutions.

Partnership for Safe Medicines Applauds International Criminal Police Organization (INTERPOL) for Seizure of $11 Million in Counterfeit Medicines During Operation Pangea XV

August 10, 2022

WASHINGTON –The Partnership for Safe Medicines, a public health group committed to the safety of pharmaceutical medicines, applauds the International Criminal Police Organization (INTERPOL) for organizing the seizure of over $11 million in counterfeit medicines during Operation Pangea XV, an initiative to combat the global trafficking of counterfeit pharmaceuticals marketed and sold online. During the…

Tweet about CBP fentanyl seizure

August 8, 2022: CBP intercepts fentanyl pills on their way from India to Canada

August 8, 2022

This week: Prosecutions, seizures and deaths related to counterfeit pressed pills in 10 states.

ADAP Advocacy PSA Combat Counterfeit Drugs: The Ad Run Parts 1 and 2

August 5, 2022

This counterfeit HIV drug outbreak inspired Brandon Mascata of ADAP Advocacy Association (AAA+) to team up with us to produce an educational advertisement for people living with HIV and their loved ones.

FDA Alert: Class 1 Recall of Unauthorized COVID-19 Tests

August 2, 2022

North American Diagnostics is recalling these tests because they were distributed to U.S. customers without authorization, clearance, or approval from the FDA. North American Diagnostics did not provide the FDA with adequate validation data to show that the test’s performance is accurate. Use of these tests may cause serious adverse health consequences or death.

August 1, 2022: Study urges medical practices to be aware of unsafe pharmacies selling Gleevec

August 1, 2022

Fake online pharmacies selling a lifesaving cancer drug. Three guilty pleas and a new case of controlled substance medicines from India, the extradition of Mark Grenon, who sells industrial bleach as a cure-all, and a dozen more stories.

Head of Missouri Pharmacy Association Calls for Rider-Free PDUFA Passage

July 27, 2022

One proposed amendment which could delay, or derail prompt passage, would allow importation of drugs from other countries which have not been inspected or approved by the FDA. Because the FDA ensures strict oversight of purity and effectiveness of the drugs in our supply chain, this proposal is dangerous. Everyday customs officials are finding counterfeit drugs which are laced with dangerous ingredients like fentanyl, mercury, lead, or other toxins.

Recalled dietary supplement sold on Amazon

FDA Alert: Dietary Supplement Sold on Amazon Recalled for Presence of Prescription Drug Ingredients

July 26, 2022

The product was distributed via the internet and fulfilled by Amazon nationwide in the USA. On December 17, 2020, FDA issued a press release that warned consumers to avoid certain products found on Amazon, eBay and other retailers due to hidden and potentially dangerous drug ingredients. It also encouraged online marketplaces to ensure these products are not sold on their platforms.

Boxes labeled as Flowflex COVID test kits

July 25, 2022: Pangea XV takes $11 million in fake drugs out of circulation

July 25, 2022

94 countries seized 3 million doses of unauthorized and fake drugs for Operation Pangea XV; Mesa County, Colorado’s sheriff reported a different, dangerous opioid in fake oxycodone pills; and 22 other counterfeit pill incidents.

Video: DOJ wants AlpraKing

July 20, 2022

A vendor called AlpraKing was one of several large volume sellers of fake Xanax pills operating on the dark web between 2014 and 2017. No one knew who was behind the AlpraKing operation, but recently that changed.

July 18, 2022: Final defendant in fake Adderall dark web ring sentenced

July 18, 2022

This week: more xylazine in fake pills, a million fentanyl pills seized in California, and the last of seven fake Adderall traffickers sentenced, and 26 more stories in 17 states.

July 11, 2022: Mexican authorities seize half a million fentanyl pills in Sinaloan warehouse.

July 11, 2022

Mexico busts a huge fentanyl pill warehouse in Sinaloa. The U.S. is trying to extradite a Canadian fake Xanax trafficker, and a dozen more stories about counterfeit pills across the country.

Menu of drugs on cellphone

July 5, 2022: New York man sold U.S. buyers millions of smuggled prescription drugs

July 6, 2022

This week: Fake drug convictions in New York and Missouri, and fentanyl pill prosecutions, seizures and deaths in 17 states.

June 27, 2022: Counterfeit pills with fentanyl continue unabated

June 28, 2022

Stories about hundreds of thousands of counterfeit pills made with fentanyl in nine U.S. states.

jumbled box of bottles of medicine

June 20, 2022: $230 Million In Diverted HIV Drugs—Again?

June 20, 2022

A Miami man was charged with selling sketchy HIV medication to U.S. pharmacies; 47 people indicted for fentanyl pill trafficking in four separate investigations; stories about pressed pills in eight states, Ireland and Mexico.

Partnership for Safe Medicines Applauds Senate HELP Committee Vote to Table Harmful Drug Importation Amendment But Remains Concerned About Current Importation Proposals

June 18, 2022

Washington, DC (June 17, 2022) – Shabbir Safdar, executive director of The Partnership for Safe Medicines, released the following statement today: “The U.S. Senate Committee on Health, Education, Labor & Pensions’ 15-7 vote against Senator Sanders’ foreign drug importation amendment to S. 4348, the Food and Drug Administration Safety and Landmark Advancements (FDASLA) Act, is…

FDA Alert: Dietary Supplement Marketed for Pain Relief Recalled Due to Presence of Diclofenac and Dexamethasone

June 15, 2022

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, in those who have allergies to diclofenac, or those with underlying illnesses. Consumption of undeclared dexamethasone may lead to severe and serious adverse events such as adrenal suppression, a disorder in which the adrenal glands do not produce enough hormones, and adverse consequences can range from limited adverse consequences to death.

Partnership for Safe Medicines Statement on Foreign Drug Importation Efforts in the U.S. Senate (updated)

June 12, 2022

Washington, D.C. (Updated June 13, 2022) – Shabbir Imber Safdar, executive director of the Partnership for Safe Medicines, released the following statement in advance of the Senate HELP Committee’s June 14th Executive Session. “The amendments offered to include foreign drug importation in S. 4348, Food and Drug Administration Safety and Landmark Advancements (FDASLA) Act, are…

Former Florida Congresswoman Calls Drug Importation a ‘False Promise’.

June 10, 2022

So, what does all of this have to do with importing drugs from a friendly nation like Canada? The simple, inarguable fact is that, once we open up our drug supply, we can no longer ensure the safety of the products in it.

Director of Health and Science Policy at Citizens Against Government Waste Calls Drug Importation Dangerous

June 10, 2022

Instead of wasting time and money on dangerous and faulty importation proposals, Congress should encourage the FDA to speed up the drug approval process and reduce the cost of program and application fees for future drug development. In 2022, the application fee for a human drug application will cost $1.6 million for drugs that don’t require clinical data and $3.1 million for medicines that do need clinical data.

June 6, 2022: San Diego doctor sentenced for COVID treatment fraud

June 6, 2022

In this week’s news: A San Diego doctor pays for smuggling hydroxychloroquine to sell fake $4,000 COVID treatment kits; the British Medical Journal writes about black market sales of molnupiravir; Canadians warn about fake Xanax made with flualprazolam; and 14 more stories in 11 states.

Drug Importation Is Not The Solution Americans Need

June 6, 2022

While working to find a way to provide relief to patients at the pharmacy counter, American politicians again look to the idea of drug importation as a possible solution. Looking at all the evidence, the Partnership for Safe Medicines believes such plans will not only make no difference in reducing patient out-of-pocket costs, but will…

Congress: Don’t invite global drug counterfeiters to the U.S. Drug Supply

June 5, 2022

Watch our new ad: “Congress: Don’t invite global drug counterfeiters to the U.S. Drug Supply” As the pandemic upended our daily lives, illegally-imported counterfeit products flooded into our communities. Criminals all over the world moved quickly to exploit fear and take advantage of disrupted supply lines in March 2020. Americans were-and continue to be-deluged in…

May 31, 2022: PSM holds online congressional briefing about drug importation

May 31, 2022

PSM holds its 2022 congressional briefing. A study of FDA enforcement actions underscores the real threat of fake drugs; a New York pharmacy-owner who allegedly sold fake HIV drugs is sentenced in a different crime; large amphetamine pill seizures in Montreal and Jordan; and stories relating to pressed counterfeit pills in 16 states.

Video cover: Report Ignored

Video: Report Ignored (Still no action on drug dealing Facebook page)

May 25, 2022

Trafficking pharmaceuticals or illicit drugs violates Facebook’s community guidelines, but drug dealers are advertising them on Facebook anyway–even after they’ve been reported. Watch to learn more.

counterfeit dilaudid pills embossed with M and 8

May 23, 2022: “ISO” found in DC-area counterfeit pills, says DEA

May 24, 2022

In this week’s news: counterfeit pills made with isotonitazene in the DC-area; Drug resistant malaria and a prescription drug bust in Africa; a former health minister goes to prison over fake medicines in Vietnam; and news about pressed pills in 15 states.

Map of US showing 15% uptick in drug deaths for 2021

May 16, 2022: More than 107,000 U.S. drug deaths in 2021

May 18, 2022

The CDC releases preliminary data suggesting that drug deaths climbed 15% in 2021; the DEA reports on fentanyl precursor seizures and 28 more stories cover deaths, seizures and prosecutions across the country.

FDA Alert: Class 1 Recall of Some Mesa Biotech COVID Tests Due to Risk of False Positives/Contamination

May 11, 2022

This is a reprint of an FDA Alert. Mesa Biotech, Inc., Recalls Certain Accula SARS-CoV-2 Tests for Risk of False Positives Caused by Contamination The FDA has identified this as a Class I recall, the most serious type of recall. Use of these devices may cause serious injuries or death. Recalled Product Product Name: Accula…

FDA Alert: Class 1 Recall on Skippack Medical Lab SARS-CoV-2 Antigen Rapid Test

May 11, 2022

This is a reprint of an FDA Alert. Do Not Use Skippack Medical Lab SARS-CoV-2 Antigen Rapid Test: FDA Safety Communication May 10, 2022 The U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) is warning people not to use the Skippack Medical Lab SARS-CoV-2 Antigen Rapid Test (Colloidal Gold). This test is not authorized, cleared, or approved…

Comparison of two Covid test devices

May 9, 2022: FDA calls out counterfeit versions of common COVID antigen tests.

May 9, 2022

This week: fake Flowflex COVID-19 and iHealth COVID-19 antigen test kits, large prescription drugs seizures, a new bill in the Senate and 27 more stories involving pressed pills.

COVID’s Impact On The Flow Of Counterfeits

May 6, 2022

What have we learned about counterfeit medicines during the pandemic? And what does it mean for proposals to import the drug supplies of other countries like Canada?

video title screen

Video: Serialization Protecting Patients

May 4, 2022

Recently a ring of counterfeiters was exposed selling fake HIV medicines. One of their shipments ended up at a small Texan pharmacy. Watch to learn what happened.

May 2, 2022: Another lawsuit over counterfeit HIV drugs in the U.S.

May 2, 2022

J&J sues distributors for selling fake HIV drugs; illegally imported medicines and 19 stories involving pressed pills made of fentanyl or methamphetamine in 15 states.

April 25, 2022: Middle man in Mac Miller’s fentanyl pill death gets 11 years.

April 25, 2022

Federal courts sentenced the first of three men who supplied the fentanyl pills that killed rapper Mac Miller; A COVID-19 testing company in LA will pay more than $20 million for faking test results; dozens more stories about counterfeit pressed pills in 17 states.

FDA Alert: Herbal Arthritis Treatments Contain Dangerous Prescription Drugs

April 25, 2022

FDA has received adverse event reports, including of liver toxicity and death, associated with the use of Artri King products, since the agency issued its first warning about an Artri Ajo King product on January 5, 2022.

April 18, 2022: Fake pills double teen drug deaths since 2019

April 18, 2022

Drug fatalities among U.S. teens have doubled since 2019—largely because of counterfeit pills made with fentanyl. Two websites were warned to stop selling Adderall without a prescription, and more than 20 additional stories in 14 states.

Video: Fake blood thinners found in Mexican pharmacies

April 13, 2022

Americans searching for cheaper prescription drugs in Mexico are often sold fake or substandard products. Fake blood thinners were just recently found in Mexican pharmacies and sold to American patients.

three sets of counterfeit pills

April 11, 2022: DEA warns about mass fentanyl poisoning events

April 11, 2022

This week’s roundup includes a warning about mass fentanyl poisoning events; a guilty plea from a doctor who faked vaccination records; more counterfeit medicine in Mexico, and pressed pills made with fentanyl in 18 states.

Partnership for Safe Medicines Releases Anti-Counterfeit Public Service Announcement with ADAP Advocacy Association

April 5, 2022

Washington, D.C. (April 6, 2022) – The Partnership for Safe Medicines has teamed up with the ADAP Advocacy Association (aaa+) to educate people living with HIV on ways they can protect themselves against potential counterfeit medications.

a pill press and clear plastic bags of fentanyl powder and blue pills

March 28–April 4, 2022: DoJ probes alleged HIV drug counterfeiting network

April 5, 2022

In this week’s roundup: The Justice Department’s investigation of an alleged counterfeit HIV drug network; case updates in New Jersey and Washington, international news, and 40+ stories about pressed pills made with fentanyl or other substances.

picture of the box of a covid test

March 21, 2022: Class I recalls of COVID-19 tests and prescription drug smuggling

March 22, 2022

This week’s roundup covers two COVID-19 test kit recalls, alleged prescription drug smugglers who sold breast cancer treatments—among other drugs—online, and 33 more stories across the country,

FDA Alert: Class 1 Recall of Unauthorized Covid-19 Tests

March 18, 2022

This is a reprint of an FDA Alert. SD Biosensor Recalls STANDARD Q COVID-19 Ag Home Tests That Are Not Authorized, Cleared, or Approved by the FDA and May Give False Results The FDA has identified this as a Class I recall, the most serious type of recall. Use of these devices may cause serious…

March 16, 2022 Video: Dodgy Drug Websites & HIV

March 16, 2022

Many criminals are in the fake HIV drug business, and the drugs they sell online are a big threat to the health of HIV patients. Learn more here.

March 14, 2022: Counterfeit Rabies Shots Found In The Philippines

March 14, 2022

Without effective treatment, rabies causes fever, headache, delirium, hallucinations, spasms that prevent swallowing and—almost always—death.

Read about this case and dozens more in this week’s news roundup.

March 9, 2022 Video: Narcotics for Sale

March 10, 2022

What’s more shocking than a fake online pharmacy selling fake medicines to desperate patients? The same sites selling illicit drugs like fentanyl. It’s one more reason to support the DRUGS Act.

Discarded boxes of xylazine piled in a trashbag

March 7, 2022: Fake oxycodone contained animal sedative that doesn’t respond to Narcan

March 7, 2022

A high school senior who died in 2021 believed he was buying oxycodone, but test results showed fentanyl and xylazine—a non-opioid veterinary sedative.

Find links to this story and two dozen more in this week’s news roundup.

New Jersey Teenager Killed by Pill Containing Fentanyl Sold on Snapchat

March 7, 2022

New Jersey is the 17th state in which PSM has documented a death caused by a counterfeit pill containing fentanyl sold to the victim on Snapchat.

FDA Issues Warning About Unauthorized Covid-19 At-Home Tests

March 3, 2022

The U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) is warning people not to use the SD Biosensor Inc. STANDARD Q COVID-19 Ag Home Test. The test is not authorized, cleared, or approved by the FDA for distribution or use in the United States. The FDA is concerned about the risk of false results when using this unauthorized test. This unauthorized test may be packaged in a white and magenta box.

hand reaching out of a laptop computer with a bottle of pills

March 2, 2022 Video: Stop Notorious Websites

March 2, 2022

Learn how this year’s Notorious Markets Report illustrates need for the DRUGS Act.

February 28, 2022: Study shows that suspending rogue pharmacy websites suppresses them in search results

February 28, 2022

LegitScript’s three-month study found that locking and suspending rogue online pharmacy websites suppressed them in search engine results.

Catch up on this and more than 30 other stories here.

Partnership for Safe Medicines Statement on Synthetic Opioid Trafficking Commission Report

February 24, 2022

Washington, D.C. (August 12, 2021) – Shabbir Safdar, executive director of the Partnership for Safe Medicines, released the following statement in response to the Synthetic Opioid Trafficking Commission’s Final Report

Report cover

A Fentanyl Fighting Blueprint: The Commission On Combating Synthetic Opioid Trafficking’s Final Report

February 23, 2022

The Commission on Combating Synthetic Opioid Trafficking’s Final Report makes recommendations for a complex, multipronged federal response to the fentanyl crisis.

February 22, 2022: This year’s review of Notorious Markets for Counterfeiting and Piracy is out

February 22, 2022

The Office of the US Trade Representative released this year’s Review of Notorious Markets, which identifies markets that “engage in, facilitate, turn a blind eye to, or benefit from substantial piracy or counterfeiting.”

Click through to see this report, and catch up on more than 30 stories about counterfeit medicine.

Pennsylvania Is the 16th State with a Confirmed Death from a Pill Sold on Snapchat

February 17, 2022

Pennsylvania has become the sixteenth state in which PSM has found someone poisoned and killed by a counterfeit pills sold to them by a dealer on Snapchat.

Report cover

February 14, 2022: Commission on Combating Synthetic Opioid Trafficking report released

February 14, 2022

The final report of the Commission on Combating Synthetic Opioid Trafficking summarizes the fentanyl crisis and makes recommendations for a coordinated federal response to help save American lives.

16-year-old in Kansas Killed by Fake Pill Sold on Snapchat

February 11, 2022

A 16-year-old in Kansas died after he was sold a counterfeit pill containing fentanyl by a drug dealer on Snapchat.

headshots of Shabbir Safdar, Stacey Barrack, and Lisa Hicks for webinar

February 7, 2022: PSM sponsors webinar on family advocacy opportunities

February 7, 2022

On February 2nd PSM held a one-hour webinar to discuss advocacy opportunities and federal legislation such as the DRUGS Act, which could make positive change.

Parents in Mississippi Push for Change After Son Killed by Fake Pill Sold on Snapchat

February 7, 2022

Parents in Mississippi have asked legislators for help after they lost their 19-year-old son to a counterfeit pill sold to him on Snapchat.

headshots of Shabbir Safdar, Stacey Barrack, and Lisa Hicks for webinar

How can families affected by fentanyl or fake medicines become advocates in 2022?

February 4, 2022

Has your family been affected by fentanyl or fake pills? Learn about opportunities in 2022 to advocate to address the crisis in this webinar about federal legislation this year.

January 31, 2022: New York nurses allegedly sold $1.5 million in fake vaccine cards

January 31, 2022

Two nurses in New York allegedly made $1.5 million over a three month period forging vaccine cards and entering them in New York’s statewide vaccine database. Catch up on this and 16 more stories.

jumbled box of bottles of medicine

January 24, 2022: 85,000+ bottles of fake HIV medicines

January 24, 2022

First among the more that two dozen stories in this week’s round up: Gilead Sciences is suing a a network of unauthorized drug suppliers and distributors for selling over 85,000 bottles of counterfeit HIV medicines sold as legitimate Biktarvy and Descovy to U.S. pharmacies.

Take Action: Ask congress to require domain name sellers to take down websites that sell drugs illegally

January 19, 2022

The “Domain Reform for Unlawful Drug Sellers” or “DRUGS” Act would require domain name sellers to lock and suspend websites when regulators or law enforcement show evidence that they are selling drugs illegally.
This would be a game changer for patient safety.

January 18, 2022: Stay on top of COVID with CDC tips for buying real masks; 4 free home tests

January 18, 2022

The surge of the omicron variant has left people struggling to find COVID tests and upgrading their face coverings. Read on to find suggestions for both, as well as the rest of the week’s counterfeit medicine news.

Fake HIV Medication Reached U.S. Pharmacies—And Patients

January 18, 2022

A new story in the Wall Street Journal revealed details about the mysterious criminal counterfeiting ring that has been selling fake versions of HIV medications Biktarvy, Symtuza, and Descovy to licensed pharmacies. Read to learn some key things about the crime.

vials in a plastic bag

January 10, 2022: Buyers, beware COVID test scams and counterfeits

January 10, 2022

Amidst a shortage of COVID-19 tests that has encouraged fraud and counterfeits, the FTC published guidance about how to avoid purchasing fake home test kits online. Catch up on this and counterfeit drug stories across eight states.

Pic of first page of DEA factsheet about fake pills

January 4, 2022: Fentanyl deaths rise; 13% in western states are from fake pills

January 5, 2022

Recent analysis at the CDC found that fentanyl is the leading cause of death for U.S. adults ages 18-45, and fake pills are playing a prominent role: in western states, more than 13% of fentanyl deaths involved counterfeit pills. Catch up on all the news here.

Senator Cassidy on the U.S. Senate floor with sign about fentanyl deaths

December 13, 2021: Legislators continue to seek permanent scheduling of fentanyl and its analogues

December 13, 2021

Senators Cassidy and Burr and Representatives Latta and Griffith introduced new legislation to permanently classify fentanyl analogues as Schedule I substances. Temporary scheduling is currently set to expire in February 2022. Catch up on this and 24 more stories in this post.

Cover of video: Fake Cough Syrup Ring in Texas

Video: Fake Cough Syrup Ring in Texas

December 13, 2021

Is there money in counterfeit cough syrup? There really is—but you can never tell what’s in fake medicine and sometimes it will kill you. Watch this week’s video to learn about a recently busted cough syrup ring in Texas.

Parents & PSM to the Sacramento Bee: Please call these deaths poisonings

December 9, 2021

The Sacramento Bee has been steadily covering counterfeit pills made with fentanyl since 2016, but it has also used the word “overdose” to describe fake pill deaths. PSM and a group of parents asked the paper to change their language so that the public better understands the threat.

Video Series – Operation Denial: OCDETF shuts down a three-country fentanyl trafficking conspiracy

December 7, 2021

A teenager dying in North Dakota bought down a fentanyl conspiracy ring that spanned three nations and two continents.

Watch part 5 to learn about the task force that made this investigation possible.

December 6, 2021: Fake captagon pills are Syria’s biggest export, says the New York Times

December 6, 2021

Associates of the Assad regime have become international suppliers of counterfeit amphetamine pills.

packages of contact lenses laid out on a table with CBP Cincinnati seal

November 29, 2021: CBP and FDA seize 26,000 unapproved contact lenses

November 29, 2021

In the past, contact lenses like these have been contaminated with harmful bacteria.

US map showing percent change in predicted 12 Month-ending Count of Drug Overdose Deaths, by Jurisdiction: April 2020 to April 2021

November 22, 2021: 100,000 People Lost To Drugs Between April 2020 And 2021

November 22, 2021

Drug deaths in the twelve months ending in April 2021 increased 28% over the same period the previous year. The tragic increase is fueled by fentanyl and its analogues being added to the entire spectrum of illicit drugs.

November 15, 2021: Feds indict alleged fake cough syrup ring in Texas

November 15, 2021

Federal authorities have indicted nine Texans who allegedly sold almost $53 million in counterfeit cough syrup over the last seven years. Learn more about this case and catch up on the rest of this week’s counterfeit medicine news.

Criminals in the US are still making fake pills with pill presses. What should state legislatures do about it?

November 9, 2021

As counterfeit pills made with dangerous substances proliferate in the U.S., lawmakers and regulators are grappling with whether stronger penalties for the misuse of pill presses or tighter control of the machines would deter homegrown pill makers. We have looked at this issue and here’s what we found.