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.
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.
March 13, 2023: Medical device company had doctors implant fake parts into pain patients solely for profit, says DOJ
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.
February 21, 2023: FDA urges U.S. residents to buy all prescription medicines from U.S. licensed pharmacies.
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.
Partnership for Safe Medicines statement in response to the New York State Senate’s passage of Senate Bill S604
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.
A Bay Area Doctor Imported Black Market Drugs, But She Told Her Patients They Were Genuine Botox And Juvederm
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.
October 11, 2022: Indian national pleads guilty to smuggling controlled medicines to sell to U.S. residents without prescriptions
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.
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.
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.”
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.
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.
August 29, 2022: FDA warns “Tramadol US” to stop selling controlled, unapproved drugs to U.S. residents
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.
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.
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.
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
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…
This week: Prosecutions, seizures and deaths related to counterfeit pressed pills in 10 states.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
This week: Fake drug convictions in New York and Missouri, and fentanyl pill prosecutions, seizures and deaths in 17 states.
Stories about hundreds of thousands of counterfeit pills made with fentanyl in nine U.S. states.
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
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
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)
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…
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
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.
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.
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…
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…
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.
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.
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.
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
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…
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…
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.
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?
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.
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.
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 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.
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.
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.
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
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.
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.
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,
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…
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.
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.
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.
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 is the 17th state in which PSM has documented a death caused by a counterfeit pill containing fentanyl sold to the victim on Snapchat.
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.
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
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.
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