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.

Seoul Pharmacists Charged with Fake Drugs

December 17, 2010

Seoul Police arrested pharmacists on suspicion of selling fake pills that could cause heart attack. The Korea Times reported that the Seoul metropolitan Police Agency fifteen pharmacists for allegedly selling fake erectile dysfunction drugs with known side effects of heart attack. The police reported that each pill was purchased for 2,000 won ($1.75) and resold…

Japan to Raise Consumer Awareness of Counterfeits

December 17, 2010

Japan’s Patent Office (JPO) announced an “Anti-Counterfeiting Campaign” on December 10, in cooperation with the Intellectual Property Policy Headquarters and related ministries to raise public awareness of the risk of counterfeit products.

Partnership for Safe Medicines Launches You Tube Channel

December 16, 2010

The Partnership for Safe Medicines has launched a Safe Medicines YouTube Channel. The Safe Medicines Channel, 23 videos encompassing the entire Safe Medicines Interchange conference on October 8th, 2010, are available for those that missed the conference speakers.

Fake Meds Smuggling Debated in Dubai

December 16, 2010

Last year 73% of fake medicines seized at European borders were routed through the United Arab Emirates, says the European Commission.

Internet Companies Fight Fake Online Pharmacies

December 15, 2010

Victoria Espinel, the White House intellectual property enforcement coordinator, announced on December 13, 2010, that major American internet companies are helping to establish a non-profit organization targeting illegal Internet pharmacies in support of White House efforts.

Attorney General Addresses Fake Drug Crime

December 15, 2010

Attorney General Eric Holder spoke at a White House forum on consumer health and safety risks related to counterfeit goods in Washington, DC on December 14, 2010. After addressing and thanking the organizers, he said, “All of us must do more to ensure the health and safety of our citizens, to protect intellectual property rights,…

Man Up Now Capsules: FDA Consumer Warning – Undeclared Drug Ingredient

December 14, 2010

This is a reprint of the FDA alert. The U.S. Food and Drug Administration is warning consumers not to use Man Up Now capsules, marketed as a dietary supplement for sexual enhancement, because they contain a variation of an active drug ingredient found in Viagra that can dangerously lower blood pressure. Man Up Now claims…

Edible Optical Tags New Counterfeit Prevention

December 14, 2010

A new optically read microtag can be applied directly to the surface of a pill to verify drug authenticity, adding to new technologies to fight drug counterfeiting.

Call to Arms: Fight Drug Theft

December 14, 2010

The Global Fund to Fight Aids is inviting agencies in developing countries to pursue and stem drug thefts, by joining to together to share information ,as well as procurement and distribution capacities.

Fake Doctor Sold Fake Drugs in San Diego

December 14, 2010

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

Fondation Chirac Hosts Fake Medicines Meeting

December 13, 2010

The Fondation Chirac held a roundtable on counterfeit medications at the two day conference, European Development Days (EDD) in Brussels on December 7th, entitled “How to Fight False Medicines.”

The panelists discussed cooperative measures to strengthen countries administrative capacities, build better health care facilities and raise awareness that fake drugs are dangerous to their countries’ peoples.

Said African entrepreneur and philanthropist Mo Ibrahim, “This is worse than drugs. People who buy heroin or cocaine, at least they know what they are buying, they are exercising their decision-making. But someone who has a heart or a kidney condition who buys fake medicine – this is an attempt at murder.”

Orhii: Attention Must Be Paid

December 13, 2010

Dr. Paul Orhii, Director-General of the National Agency for Food and Drug Administration and Control of Nigeria (NAFDAC) exhorted strong international collaboration of drug regulatory agencies to fight counterfeit drug crime at the 14th International Conference of Drug Regulatory Authorities in Singapore on December 8th, 2010.

Six Convicted of Conning Elderly in China

December 10, 2010

On December 7, the State Food and Drug Administration announced that six defendants were found guilty of selling fake medicines and sentenced to 1 to 3 years imprisonment with fines.

Two Fake Drug Factories Shut Down

December 10, 2010

On Tuesday December 7, the Bangladeshi Rapid Action Battalion shut down and sealed two counterfeit medications factory in Dhaka, Bangladesh.

Partnership For Safe Medicines (PSM) India Launches 24-Hour Helpline

December 9, 2010

The Partnership for Safe Medicines (PSM) India, a group of nonprofit organizations and individuals dedicated to protecting consumers from spurious drugs, today announced the availability of a 24-hour helpline (1800-11-4424) to assist, educate and empower consumers across India.

Cambodia Sends Police Door-to-Door to Stop Counterfeits

December 9, 2010

In northwest Cambodia’s Pailin province, on the border with Thailand, counterfeit drug surveillance has taken on a personal meaning as local malaria has evolved artemisinin resistance by sending police door-to-door to local pharmacies and confiscating counterfeit anti-malarials as well as spreading the word of free treatment.

Southern Sudan Builds Drug Testing Facilities

December 9, 2010

Southern Sudan is revamping its pharmaceutical supply chain, building laboratories and monitoring units to prevent smuggling of fake drugs as it recovers from 21 years of civil war. According to Manyang Agoth, Director-General of the Pharmaceutical Services at the Southern Sudan’s Ministry of Health, the drug supply system collapsed during the civil war as “then-existing…

Philippine Department of Health Issues Fake Drug Warning

December 8, 2010

The Philippine Department of Health (DOH) issued a warning to the public against fake drugs and vitamin supplements that they believe have proliferated the country’s markets. Counterfeit drugs may contain harmful ingredients or lack the necessary ingredients and have low concentration of active ingredients that may impact efficacy, said DOH Regional Director Myrna Cabotaje in…

Fake Drug Spammer Denied Bail

December 8, 2010

Russian citizen Oleg Nikolaenko used Mega-D, a spam botnet, to make approximately $500,000 in six months in 2007 while infecting a network of computers to use to send out junk emails hawking fake drugs. Given his access to money, and lack of ties in the U.S. he’s been denied bail by a Federal Judge. Nikolaenko…

Dominica Issues Counterfeit Warning

December 7, 2010

The Caribbean island of Dominica has issued a warning to residents to be on the alert for fake drugs.

British Conspirators of Kevin Xu In Court on Fake Cancer Drug Charges

December 7, 2010

Five British residents have been accused of importing into the UK fake cancer drugs, fake heart disease medicine, and fake schizophrenia medication from China worth millions of pounds.

Partnership For Safe Medicines (PSM) Announces Major International Expansion with Launch of India Initiative

December 7, 2010

The Partnership for SafeMedicines (PSM), a group of nonprofit organizations and individuals dedicated to protecting consumers from counterfeit drugs, today announced a major expansion of its international coalition with the launch of its partner PSM India.

FBI and FTC Arrest Fake Drug Spammer

December 6, 2010

FBI agents arrested Oleg Nikolaenko as the alleged mastermind behind the Mega-D botnet, that promoted counterfeit materials online, and was used, to “deceptively [market] and [sell] counterfeit herbal ‘male enhancement’ pills and generic prescription drugs that were falsely advertised as FDA-approved.”

Groundbreaking Counterfeit Drug Conference in New Delhi

December 6, 2010

Consumer advocates, industry leaders and government officials are congregating on Tuesday December 7th to discuss the problems of counterfeit drugs. After opening remarks by industry and government officials, technical sessions on patient safety, healthcare delivery, regulatory mechanisms and technological safeguards will be conducted. The final session of the day will be a panel discussion on the development of greater access to safe medicines in India.

Africa Embraces Text Messaging Technology

December 6, 2010

Kenyan consumers can now use a pilot text messaging program to verify legitimate drugs and weed out fake drugs, as mobile phones become integrated into healthcare in Africa.

Argentina Federal Agents Investigate Fake Drug Crime Ring

December 4, 2010

In Argentina, 40 raids were conducted as part of continuing investigations into counterfeit and illegal drug distribution by organized crime.

Philippine NBI Seizes Millions in Fake Drugs

December 3, 2010

The National Bureau of Investigation of the Philippines seized more than P25 million worth of fake drugs allegedy imported form India, Pakistan and Singapore and arrested a person involved in the distribution and sales of the confiscated medications. Agent Terrence Agustin, of the NBI Intellectual Property Rights Division (IPRD) informed reporters that Renante Dumasig, 35,…

Bargain Drugs Can Be Fake Drugs

December 3, 2010

WSBTV, Channel 2, an Atlanta, Georgia, television station found that bargain drugs ordered online, supposedly from Canada, are often bogus and manufactured in China or South America.

“Safety, Efficacy and Quality of Medicines” Important at WHO Conference

December 2, 2010

Singapore's Minister for Health, Mr. Khaw Boon Wan, emphasized the importance of improving the "safety, efficacy and quality of medicines worldwide" for the International Conference of Drug Regulatory Authorities (ICDRA) at the World Health Organization's 14th International Conference on November 30th.  The International Conference of Drug Regulatory Authorities meets biannually to discuss disease demographics and…

How to Protect Yourself From Fake Drugs

December 2, 2010

Consumers can protect themselves from fake drugs by following some simple steps to insure their prescriptions come from reliable pharmacies including verifying their pharmacy's legitmacy, submitting a doctor's prescription and being aware of practices that may signify frauds. According to AOL Money & Finance's Daily Finance report, consumers need to educate themselves about the characteristics…

China Cracks Down on Fake Drugs

December 1, 2010

China’s Commerce Department announced an increase in enforcement over counterfeit products in China, including medicines, said Jiang Zengwei at a news conference, as he promised closer cooperation with the United States, Japan and Europe. According to the Associated Press reporting in the Washington Post, trade groups say Chinese goods piracy is growing despite repeated attempts…

Delhi Chief Seeks Total Intolerance

November 29, 2010

Delhi chief minister Sheila Dikshit is working to develop capacity to fight fake drugs. According to The Times of India, Dikshit said the Delhi government is strengthening the state drug control department based upon recommendations made by Mashelkar Committee in a seminar entitled “Measures to Combat Counterfeit Drugs.” “I am concerned about the health of…

Charges Dropped Against Marla Ahlgrimm

November 29, 2010

Federal prosecutors in the Eastern District of New York dropped charges against Marla Ahlgrimm on November 5th without explanation. Ms. Ahlgrimm, a registered pharmacist, had been charged with counterfeit drug distribution along with a a Middleton, Wisconsin resident, Balbir Bhogal in September, reports the Associated Press in the Chicago Tribune. Ms. Ahlgrimm is a prominent…

USP Building Database to Track Fake Meds

November 24, 2010

The U. S. Pharmacopeia (USP) is building a database of fake medications to support and share with regulators and non-governmental organizations targeted to launch in 2011. The database will provide regulators with the ability to monitor fake and substandard drug trends and better support enforcement actions. Patrick Lukulay, director of the Promoting the Quality of…

Ethiopia Builds Up Medicine Registration and Labs

November 23, 2010

Ethiopia is training new staff and building capacity to better evaluate the safety of drugs within its country’s borders by using laboratory quality management systems and learning to test for authenticity. In order to ensure the quality of the country’s essential medicines, Promoting the Quality of Medicines, a USAID program, has been working with the…

Mississippi Stores Selling Counterfeit Drugs Raided

November 23, 2010

On November 18, after a year-long law enforcement partnership between federal, state and local officials, approximately 30 federal search warrants were issued in Mississippi in search of counterfeit pharmaceuticals. A team of nearly 100 law enforcement agents participated in the operation, according to a press release from the Mississippi’s Attorney General’s Office. The operations involved…

China Announces Initiative to Monitor Search Engines for Counterfeit Drug Websites

November 19, 2010

The Chinese agency in charge of the fight against counterfeit drugs has announced a new initiative to crack down on the trafficking of illegal medications over the internet, according to the Global Times. The State Food and Drug Administration (SFDA) announced it new campaign at a press conference in Beijing. Wang Lifeng, the director of the…

Chinese Citizen Sentenced in Texas for Selling Fake Drugs

November 19, 2010

A Chinese citizen in the US was recently sentenced to 12 months and one day in federal prison in Texas for selling counterfeit drugs. United States Attorney José Angel Moreno recently announced that Kum Leung Chow, who was also known as Lawrence Chow, will be sent to federal prison for "conspiring to distribute counterfeit pharmaceuticals…

Fake Drugs Major Factor in New Malaria Strain, says WHO

November 19, 2010

In a newly published report on antimalarial drug efficacy and resistance, The World Health Organization (WHO) raised the alarm about a new strain of artemisinin resistant malaria in South East Asia. Scientists believe that fake and substandard malarial medications are a major factor in the development of new drug-resistant strains of malaria. WHO’s containment plan will provide free medication and care for those affected in order to prevent them from relying on counterfeit and substandard malarial medications.

“Efforts have also been made to stop the sale of counterfeit and substandard drugs, which are a major factor in the development of resistance,” states the report.

FDA Alert: Notification of Stolen Bristol-Myers Squibb Products

November 19, 2010

This is a reprint of the FDA’s Alert. Bristol-Myers Squibb (BMS) is working with the U.S. Food and Drug Administration’s Office of Criminal Investigations (FDA), and other law enforcement officials, to recover cases of specified lots of recently stolen pharmaceutical products.  The specified lots were being transported in a tractor-trailer stolen in Florence, Kentucky, on Interstate…

Filipino Coalition Raises Fake Drug Alarm

November 19, 2010

  A group of doctors, pharmacists, drug regulators and distributors, called Samahan Laban sa Pekeng Gamot (Samahan), are spreading the warning that ten percent of all medicines in the Philippines are fake. Dr. Maria Minerva Calimag, Samahan spokesman and chair of the Cosmetics Committee of the Philippine Medical Association (PMA), said "Consumers unwittingly buy from…

Nigerian Governor Pledges Support to NAFDAC’s Counterfeit Drug War

November 18, 2010

The governor of a state in Nigeria has expressed his support for the country's National Agency for Food and Drug Administration and Control's (NAFDAC) fight against counterfeit drugs. Benue State Governor Gabriel Suswam said that counterfeit drugs are a major concern in the country, particularly in its rural areas, according to the Vanguard. Suswam expressed his…

Australian Veterinary Association Warns of Counterfeit Pet Medications

November 18, 2010

The Australian Veterinary Association (AVA) has warned consumers of the growing market for counterfeit animal medications sold in online pharmacies. "Not only is this a risky practice as there is no guarantee you're going to get what you're paying for, you might also be breaking the law by buying these drugs online and importing them…

Pine Bluff AR Doctor Found Guilty of Health Care Fraud in Fake IUD Case

November 17, 2010

Osteopath Kelly Dean Shrum was found guilty by a jury of one count of misdemeanor Misbranding in violation of the Food, Drug, & Cosmetic Act and one count of Health Care Fraud. He was originally indicted on one count each of misbranding and health care fraud and three counts of money laundering for using imported…

Ghanaian Company Wins Security Prize for Anti-Counterfeiting System

November 17, 2010

A Ghanaian tech company has won the Global Security Challenge with their proposals for systems designed to combat counterfeit drugs throughout West Africa. The prize was awarded at the Global Security Challenge Summit, a meeting held at the University of London that marks the final round of an annual international competition. The challenge seeks to…

U.S. Food and Drug Administration Funds WHO Anti-Counterfeiting Surveillance Project

November 17, 2010

The U.S. Food and Drug Administration has announced that it will help fund a new project by the World Health Organization that seeks to develop a “global surveillance and monitoring system for combating counterfeit medicines and breaches in the supply chain,” according to a government release. Other aims of the funding include the development of “consistent…

Scranton Theft: $100,000 of Prescription Medications

November 17, 2010

Three people have been hit with charges related to the burglary of a pharmacy in Susquehanna County, Pennsylvania, according to the Scranton Times-Tribune. Reddon’s Pharmacy was robbed on October 29 by Darryl Chaffee, 36, and Jerrod Decker, 24, who stole up to $100,000 worth of prescription medications. Chaffee and Decker have been charged with felony theft,…

Malaysian Authorities Ban Unregulated Products Containing Controlled Substances

November 16, 2010

Malaysia’s Drug Control Agency (DCA) has banned the sale, possession, distribution and consumption of two unregulated traditional products found to contain controlled drugs, reports Malaysian national news agency Bernama. DCA analysis of the two products revealed the presence of regulated substances that may only be legally obtained with a prescription.

Truck Full of Life Saving Medications Stolen in Kentucky

November 16, 2010

A truckload of pharmaceuticals was stolen from a rest area in Florence, Kentucky on November 11 with an estimated value of several million dollars. Securingpharma.com reports that the products included the antihypertensives, anticoagulants, aripiprazole for schizophrenia, HIV drugs and an antiplatelet medication. The plain white truck was left unattended for 15 minutes on the edge…

WHO study: African Fake Drug Rates are Dangerously High

November 15, 2010

A new study conducted by the World Health Organization (WHO) and the United States Pharmacopoeia (USP) has revealed that the prevalence of ineffective or counterfeit drugs is dangerously high in Africa, particularly in the western part of the continent. In particular, the study examined common medications used for the treatment of malaria and tuberculosis. The…

Fake Cancer Drugs Smuggled into European Union

November 15, 2010

Police in four countries in Europe have conducted searches as part of an investigation of counterfeit cancer drugs allegedly being smuggled illegally into the European Union, according to the Cyprus Mail.

The simultaneous searches were orchestrated by the German Federal Police and were carried out by local agents in Germany, Switzerland, Norway, and Cyprus.

Pakistani Court Denies Bail in Trial of Men Accused of Selling Counterfeit Drugs

November 12, 2010

The Sindh High Court (SHC) in Karachi, Pakistan, has rejected the bail application of two men who allegedly trafficked in counterfeit medications, according to the Daily Times. The SHC division bench consisting of Justice Gulzar Ahmad and Justuce Imam Bukhsh Balouch decided against issuing bail after hearing arguments from the prosecution against the two defendants, Muhammad…

Drug Cargo Thefts Threaten Public Health

November 12, 2010

CBS Evening News reported that cargo thefts from trucks and warehouse are on the rise. In 2009, there were 864 reported cargo thefts, more than two per day, and frequency is projected to rise for 2010. The FDA is particularly concerned about prescription drug thefts, calling them “crime that threatens public health,” in a letter…

TB Epidemic Raises Awareness of Fake Medicine in Tanzania

November 11, 2010

Awareness of the problem of counterfeit drugs is on the rise in East Africa, according to Tanzania’s The Citizen. Starting in 2008, Interpol and the World Health Organization have collaborated on the International Medical Products Anti-Counterfeiting Task Force (IMPACT), a series of anti-counterfeiting raids in Tanzania and Uganda. The news source reports that approximately 20 percent…

Ghana Workshop Warns of Environmental Dangers Related to Fake Drug Disposal

November 11, 2010

One of Ghana’s ministries recently held a workshop regarding the possibility of bodies of water being contaminated by counterfeit drugs. The Ministry of Environment, Science and Technology held the workshop, titled “Drugs and the Environment: The Development Country Perspective,” as part of the 10th Annual Meeting of the International Society of Pharmacovigilance (ISoP), according to…

Russian Man Accused of Running Online Pharmacy Promoter Claims Innocence

November 10, 2010

The Russian man accused of running a website responsible for a large percentage of the world’s online pharmacy spam has claimed his innocence, according to the Chicago Sun-Times. Igor Gusev, 31, is the subject of an ongoing investigation by Russian authorities who believe he was responsible for paying spammers to advertise online pharmacies that sold erectile…

Zambian Pharmacist Calls on Government to Empower Regulatory Agency

November 10, 2010

A Zambian pharmacist has called on the government to empower the agency in charge of issues relating to counterfeit drugs in the country, reports the Zambia Post. “The Pharmaceutical Regulatory Agency needs to be equipped properly. It is a professional body that works very hard to check on the quality of medicines the Zambian patients consume.…

Personal Computers Hijacked for Online Pharmacy Promotions

November 9, 2010

Online pharmaceutical spam organization, Spamit.com, has been implicated in the use of Bredolab, a botnet that hijacked personal computers to use to spread spam. KrebsOnSecurity reported that Georg Avanesov, age 27, was arrested by Armenian police on suspicion of being the curator of Bredolab, a botnet that has infected approximately 3 million computers a month.…

U.S. Food and Drug Administration Sends Warning Letter to Illegitimate Online Pharmacy

November 9, 2010

The U.S. Food and Drug Administration has sent a warning letter to an online pharmacy accused of selling controlled and unapproved substances in violation of the Federal Food, Drug and Cosmetic Act (FFDCA), according to a press release. The pharmacy, Rx-promotion, reportedly operates nearly 300 internet domain names, through which it sells and dispenses medications with…

Malaria Report: New Strains, New Treatments, New Counterfeits

November 8, 2010

Three new studies highlight the hopes and fears of parents across the globe.  

A new study conducted by Dr. Nicholas White of Mahidol University in Bangkok, Thailand shows a significant reduction in mortality and gives hope for children with severe malaria.  

Meanwhile a study from the U.S. Agency for International Development details the pervasive infiltration of ineffective counterfeit malarial drugs.

And another study by researchers of malaria in Indonesia has found a new genetic mutation in the disease.

India High Court Rules Malarial Drug Test Kits are Pharmaceutical Products

November 8, 2010

In Chennai, India, the Madras high court rules that malaria testing kits are pharmaceutical products, subject to the Drugs and Cosmetics Acts. It has ordered a detailed probe into the sale of fake malaria detection kits to city hospitals, and has asked the central and state governments to launch a campaign to spread awareness about…

Nigeria Reactivates Counterfeit Drug Task Forces

November 8, 2010

The recent raid in Lagos that saw the closure of more than 1,000 counterfeit drug shops, has spurred Nigeria’s National Agency for Food and Drug Administration and Control (NAFDAC) to reactivate the Federal Task Force on fake and counterfeit drugs. Director General of NAFDAC, Dr. Paul Orhii, made the announcement in a recent speech delivered…

Nigeria and India Collaborate to Fight Counterfeit Drugs

November 5, 2010

The fight against counterfeit drugs affects every country and that is why it is important that nations work together to stop the deadly scourge. This fact is not lost on Nigeria, which is working with India to ensure that all medicines brought into the African nation are authentic. According to AllAfrica.com, most of the pharmaceutical products…

11% of Ghana’s Children Under 5 Die – More Can Live if Counterfeit Drugs are Reduced

November 5, 2010

Ghanaian religious leaders committed to decreasing child mortality rates decried counterfeit drug purveyors at the 8th Annual National Catholic Health Services Conference (NCHS). The 8th NCHS Annual Conference was held at the Catholic Guest House, Bolgatanga in the Upper East Region of Ghana from October 26 to 29, 2010. The theme was “Monitoring for Continuous…

Taiwanese Health Minister Discusses Crackdown on Fake Drugs

November 4, 2010

The government in Taiwan is currently cracking down on a rapid proliferation in the trade of fake drugs, the China Post reports. Taiwanese Health Minister Yang Chih-liang said during a press conference that counterfeit drugs posed a more serious problem than drug trafficking. The government has been strongly cracking down on counterfeit drugs since March,…

Kenya Working Hard to Curb Counterfeit Drugs

November 4, 2010

A number of health professionals in Kenya say diseases are becoming more resistant to treatments because of the prevalence of counterfeit drugs in the country. Pharmacists in the African nation said that a campaign should be started to warn consumers that the use of counterfeit drugs can lead to more resilient strands of certain diseases,…

Doctor Pleads Guilty in Online Prescription Fraud Case, Loses License

November 3, 2010

A Grand Forks, North Dakota doctor has pled guilty on federal charges of conspiracy to distribute a controlled substance. His counsel says that he client didn’t know he was breaking the law and even paid taxes on his earnings. Authorities say Enrique Rivera Mass, 56, illegally signed off on prescriptions for nearly 1.8 million pills…

Russian Authorities Accuse Businessman of Running Illegal Online Pharmacy and Spamming Billions

November 3, 2010

The beginning of a criminal investigation by Russian authorities in Moscow of a prominent spammer has resulted in a significant reduction in the amount of spam advertising from illegal online pharmacies, reports the New York Times. The center of the investigation, Igor A. Gusev, has been linked to the website “SpamIt”, an organization that provides…

Report: Anti-Counterfeiting Technology Needs Evolution, Global Implementation

November 3, 2010

A new study from Cambridge Consultants details some of the challenges facing developers of anti-counterfeiting technology, according to a new white paper written in coordination with the BIO 2010 conference in Chicago. Summarizing a panel discussion between Lew Kontnik, Director of Brand Protection for Amgen, David Kent, Vice President of Global Risk at Genzyme, Andrew Emmett, director for…

FDA Boosting Enforcement Coverage for Adulterated Products

November 2, 2010

The Food and Drug Administration Office of Regulatory Affairs has increased regulation of imported goods by 35% over the past five years, employing more than 2,000 analysts and conducting more than 100,000 analyses annually, says David Elder of the FDA Office of Regulatory Affairs.

Working cooperatively with the U.S. Customs and Border Protection and other agencies, the FDA uses a targeted, risk-based approach to electronically examine 100% of imported drug products followed by additional reviews by FDA imports personnel to ensure key compliance, says David Elder, regional operations director in the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) Office of Regulatory Affairs.

Read the full interview with David Elder, as reprinted from FDA Consumer Updates under Read More below.

Canadian Paralympian Pleads Guilty to Counterfeit Drug Charges

November 2, 2010

A Canadian Paralympic curling champion recently pleaded guilty to selling counterfeit drugs in the U.S. Jim Armstrong and his son Gregory pleaded guilty in a Seattle court to selling and dispensing counterfeit drugs with intent to mislead or defraud, reports CTV. The pair was accused of peddling phony erectile dysfunction medication. The 59-year-old allegedly attempted to…

Liberia Establishes Anti-Counterfeit Drugs Agency

November 2, 2010

A new agency has been set up in Liberia to combat illegal trade in counterfeit drugs in the country. A representative of the U.N. Office on Drugs and Crime told Voice of America that counterfeit drug crime is currently on the rise in West Africa. This puts patients at increased risk of malaria, the leading cause of…

Kenya Creates New Regulations for Herbal Remedies

November 1, 2010

Authorities in Kenya will soon institute regulations on the operations of herbalists who sell counterfeit drugs wrongly described as herbal remedies to patients, reports Business Daily Africa. “The regulations will require that herbalists register their medicines and that those medicines have to go for laboratory analysis,” Edward Abwao – assistant chief pharmacist at the Pharmacy and…

Nigeria Embraces Anti-Counterfeiting Technology in Fight Against Fake Drugs

November 1, 2010

Nigeria, one of the countries that has been hit hardest by counterfeit drugs, is continuing to battle the public health menace even though the criminals are getting more sophisticated at producing and disguising fake medicine. Leading the fight is Dr. Paul Orhii, the director-general of the country’s National Agency for Food And Drug Administration and…

Nigerian Operation Closes More than 1,200 Illegal Pharmacies

October 29, 2010

Local Nigerian authorities recently shut down more than 1,200 illegal pharmacies in Lagos for selling substandard and counterfeit drugs. The Lagos State Task Force on Counterfeit, Fake Drugs and Unwholesome Processed Foods reportedly shut down 1,253 illegal pharmaceutical outlets at Idumota, at the Lagos Central Business District (LCBD) on Lagos Island, according to the newspaper…

Police Looking for Info on Large Pharmaceutical Theft

October 29, 2010

A large pharmaceutical theft occurred at a drug manufacturing facility in Ontario and now the police are asking the public for help. Niagara Regional Police said that in late August a large quantity of pseudoephedrine was stolen from the Fort Erie pharmaceutical manufacturing company in Fort Erie, Ontario, according to the Buffalo News. After having…

Canada Takes Part in Global Operation against Fake Drugs

October 28, 2010

The Royal Canadian Mounted Police (RCMP) in New Brunswick were part of the recent global effort, termed Operation Pangea, to fight the sale of counterfeit drugs from illegal online pharmacies. Law enforcement officials warned consumers that many of the websites that claim to be Canadian pharmacies are in fact run from other countries around the…

Vietnam Has Strong Sentencing in Place for Drug Counterfeiters

October 28, 2010

Counterfeit drugs are becoming an increasingly serious problem in Vietnam but there are stern punishments in place for those who are caught dealing in this nefarious trade, according to Viet Nam News. The news source reports that Vietnam’s Criminal Code has sentencing guidelines that provide for two to seven years of imprisonment for those caught…

Counterfeit Drug Criminals Involve Innocent Neighbor

October 27, 2010

A UK grandmother got quite a surprise when a team of policeman raided her home expecting to find counterfeit drugs. Police entered Margaret Waite’s Lockeridge home hoping to find criminals, and instead found a 69-year-old that pointed out that while they were on the right street, they were in the wrong house, according to Gazette…

Missouri Man Pleads Guilty to Selling Fake Drugs

October 27, 2010

A man from Missouri recently pleaded guilty to federal charges of distributing counterfeit drugs. Mark Hughes was accused of ordering fake erectile dysfunction medication from overseas and then sold them in an illegal, unlicensed pharmacy and on the street, according to the

Alabama to Track Online Sales of Pseudophedrine

October 27, 2010

Alabama will implement a state law January 2011 to keep track of pseudophedrine sales through an electronic database. Attempting to curb the manufacture of methamphetamines, which The Drug Enforcement Agency called the number one drug threat in Alabama for the second year in a row, the state is now requiring all pseudophedrine purchases to be…

CVS to Pay $78 Million in Methamphetamine Control Penalties

October 26, 2010

CVS repeatedly failed to properly monitor pseudophedrine sales according to the U.S. Attorney’s Office and has agreed to pay $77.6 million in fines and returned profits. Insufficient monitoring gave methamphetamine traffickers in Southern California and Clark County, NV, access to “large amounts” of pseudophedrine, which led to a rise in methamphetamine production in California. CVS…

Eastern Europe Toughening Stance on Fake Drugs

October 26, 2010

Eastern Europe plays a major role in the counterfeit drug trade, said experts at a recent regional meeting. The two-day meeting was held in the capital of Romania, Bucharest, featured more than 120 anti-counterfeit specialists from Romania, the Czech Republic, Hungary, Poland, Slovakia and Ukraine, reports AFP. Hungarian customs officer Karolyi Szep said that Eastern…

Google Amends Complaint: Adds Four Defendants to Online Pharmacy Case

October 25, 2010

On October 19, 2010, Google’s attorneys filed an amended complaint in US District Court against four others accusing them of violating the AdWords Program agreement to entice consumers to online pharmacies not approved by the National Association of Board of Pharmacies VIPPS certification program.

In addition to the two defendants original named, Omar Jackman and John Doe “Simon,” the complaint now adds Gregory Gavin, Amanda Odell, Joey Patron and Gina Wyant. Defendants Gavin, Odell and Patron reside in Clarkesville, Tennessee, according to the complaint and defendant Wyant resides in Columbiana, Ohio.

The complaint states that “on information and belief” the defendants worked together. Gavin allegedly registered a domain name, and then all four defendants allegedly opened a number of AdWords accounts to advertise the domain name. The complaint states the defendants were not verified by VIPPS, which is required by the Google AdWords agreement, in order to advertise pharmaceuticals.

Microsoft IP Addresses Hijacked by Illegal Online Pharmacies

October 25, 2010

A group of Russian criminals have been using internet addresses belonging to Microsoft to re-route consumers to more than 1,000 sites, including a number of illegal online pharmacies that may be selling counterfeit drugs, according to The Register. The news source reports search results from Microsoft’s own servers show that since at least September 22, 1,025…

International Technological Capacity Building Undertaken by USP

October 25, 2010

A new initiative between the United States Pharmacopeial Convention (USP) and six government drug control laboratories in the Middle East and North Africa (MENA) has been undertaken to improve the governments’ drug testing capabilities. Attempting to facilitate the development of broader technological expertise in the government drug testing laboratories, The MENA Regional Laboratory Network “aims…

Israel Authorities Catch Smuggler with Counterfeit Drugs at Airport

October 25, 2010

A man was recently caught trying to smuggle more than 5,000 doses of counterfeit drugs into Israel. Authorities seized Chen Ben-Zion at Ben Gurion International Airport, after seeing the counterfeit drugs in an x-ray scanner, according to Haaretz.com. Ben-Zion arrived in Israel on a flight from Georgia. Authorities pulled him aside and told him that he…

Philippines Doctor Facing Counterfeit Drug Charges

October 22, 2010

A doctor in the Philippines is facing charges of expired, smuggled and counterfeit drugs. Edwin Pinili of the Pinili Clinic in Calumpang village is facing charges from the National Bureau of Investigation (NBI) and the Bureau of Food and Drugs (BFAD), according to the Philippine Daily Inquirer. Dominic Cerro, special investigator of the NBI’s Sarangani District…

Egyptian Health Ministry Launches Safe Medicines Campaign

October 21, 2010

On Sunday October 17th, the Egyptian Ministry of Health announced a new campaign entitled "Your Source of Cure Guarantees Treatment," aiming to address counterfeit and contraband drug use and smuggling. Kamal Sabra, assistant to the Health Minister for Pharmacology Affairs, said a consumers now have access to a reporting hotline for unregistered drugs.  He also…

Sri Lanka Holds Conference on Fake Drugs

October 21, 2010

The Sri Lanka Chamber of Pharmaceutical Industry (SLCPI) joined with the U.S. Embassy, the American Chamber of Commerce and other entities to host the first of four workshops on "Protecting Sri Lankan Families from counterfeit drugs," according to the Daily Mirror. This initial workshop was held on October 17 in Colombo. The news source reports that…

Pangea III Impacts Irish Online Drug Sellers

October 20, 2010

Ireland a significant player in INTERPOL's recent fake drug bust, Pangea III. According to the Irish Times, a co-ordinated Interpol operation targeting the sale of counterfeit and illegal drugs from online pharmacies netted the phony medicines. The Irish Medicines Board (IMB), the Revenue Commissioners’ Customs Service and Irish police were also involved in the operation, reports…

ID Method for Illicit Drugs Could Help Analyze Fake Medicines

October 20, 2010

A new method for analyzing illicit drugs can also be used as an anti-counterfeiting technology to help with the identification of fake medicines. The new method involves the identification and confirmation of illegal drugs and their salt forms, which is the form in which many illicit drugs are found, according to a news release. The method…

Zimbabwe’s Drug Lab Receives Certification

October 20, 2010

Zimbabwe's drug testing lab, which helps to protect the country from counterfeit drugs, recently received a commendation. The International Standards Organization (ISO) recently bestowed ISO 17025 certification upon the Medicines Control Authority of Zimbabwe's (MCAZ) drug-testing laboratories, states AllAfrica.com. According to the ISO, 17025 Certification "is for use by laboratories in developing their management system for…

Major Pharmaceutical Cargo Theft Committed in California

October 19, 2010

Two criminals disguised as police officers allegedly committed a major pharmaceutical theft when stole a delivery truck. Los Angeles police Sergeant Mitzi Grasso, said the truck was delivering drugs to a Rite Aid in the San Fernando Valley in the early morning on October 7 when two men wielding semiautomatic handguns approached the driver, according…

Government Supplied Anti-Malarials Work but Market Drugs are Fake

October 19, 2010

Government supplies of anti-malarial drugs are effective and genuine, reassured Nigeria’s National Malaria Control Programme (NMCP), while market drugs are risky and potentially fake. Science and Development Network reports that Nigerian drug quality concerns have triggered government efficacy trials of two different combination therapies for malaria (artemether and lumefantrine; artesunate and amodiaquine). The NMCP tested…

US FDA Participates in Pangea III – 274 Websites Closed Down

October 18, 2010

The U.S. Food and Drug Administration and a number of other regulatory and international bodies recently completed International Internet Week of Action (IIWA), which took place to help limit the sales of counterfeit drugs by illegal online pharmacies. A wide range of internationl bodies helped to sponsor IIWA including INTERPOL, the World Health Organization's International…

Analytical Tools Initiative – FDA 5 Year Technology Push

October 18, 2010

The Food and Drug Administration is prioritizing IT as part of its five-year strategic plan, including accelerating a program to build innovative devices to improve field and laboratory analysis. "Advances in regulatory science are critical to effectively translate cutting-edge developments in science and technology into promising products and therapies for the Americans who need them. Americans…

New Zealand Seizes Fake Drugs in Global Campaign

October 18, 2010

Customs officers in New Zealand recently seized more than 400 packages that were suspected of containing counterfeit drugs as part of an international, week-long effort to crack down on the sale of fake medicines from online pharmacies. According to Stuff.co.nz, 34 of the parcels seized by the country's Medsafe organization were confiscated because they either were…

K24

October 18, 2010

  Kenyan news station K24 courtesy of youtube.com

Report: Kenya Takes Action Against Counterfeit Drugs

October 18, 2010

Kenya has been working hard to ensure that counterfeit drugs do not enter its borders and provide those in the country with some of the best healthcare in Africa.

According to Professor Anyang’ Nyong’o, the head of Kenya’s Ministry of Medical Services, criminals from other African countries mark boxes with counterfeit drugs as coming from Kenya’s pharmaceutical industry, reports K24TV. But Nyong’o says the country is making improvements to its system.

“We’ve become wiser than them,” he told the news source.

These improvements encompass two main strategies, according to the news provider’s report.

The first is improved border security, which will allow Kenya to control what is and isn’t allowed to enter the country.