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.

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.

Buyer Beware: Counterfeit Meds 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.

November 8, 2021: Mexico makes largest fentanyl seizure ever

November 8, 2021

The Mexican army estimated that the bust may disrupt the production of about 70 million of the blue fentanyl pills every month. Catch up on all of last week’s news about counterfeit medicine.

Illinois Is the 20th State Where Fake Adderall Has Been Seized

November 4, 2021

An investigation by the Kane County Sheriff’s Office and the U.S. Postal Inspection Service led to the seizure of over two pounds of counterfeit Adderall pills that tested positive for methamphetamine.

Poster summarizing operation

November 1, 2021 : Feds and Europol Disrupt Darknet Drug Sales

November 1, 2021

Operation Dark HunTor stopped Darknet sellers in seven states and Washington D.C. Click here for links to this and 29 other stories about fakes medicine.

A dealer on social media killed someone in Nevada, too.

October 28, 2021

The death of a Nevada resident who took a fake pill from an alleged Snapchat dealer brings PSM’s tally of states with deaths tied to the platform to 13. It’s indicative of a problem across the whole internet.

Stacked boxes marked 3M

October 25, 2021: Some Cleveland Clinic employees got COVID after a company supplied them with 400K N95 masks.

October 25, 2021

A Pennsylvania company is being investigated for selling fake N95 masks to as many as 20 medical facilities across the country—including the Cleveland Clinic. Catch up on this story and more of last week’s safe medicines news.

The Evolving Role of Chinese Manufacturers and Criminal Gangs in the U.S. Fake Fentanyl Pill Epidemic

October 20, 2021

The United States-China Economic and Security Review Commission’s newest report found Chinese companies adapting to a changing legal framework to maintain their prominent status as suppliers, and even venturing into money-laundering services for Mexican drug trafficking organizations

October 18, 2021: 33 years for fentanyl trafficker indicted in Operation Denial

October 18, 2021

40-year-old Steven Barros Pintos was prosecuted as part of a long running investigation into a fentanyl and fentanyl pill trafficking ring that spanned Canada, China and the U.S.

Fake Adderall pills spread across the U.S.

October 18, 2021

Counterfeit Adderall made with methamphetamine is not a new problem, but it is exploding in the shadow of the fentanyl pill epidemic. As of September 2021, these counterfeits had been found in 19 states.

October 12, 2021: Snapchat proposes changes to help stop dealers

October 12, 2021

After listening to grieving parents who have lost children to counterfeit pills sold on their platform, Snapchat announced new efforts to crackdown down on illegal drug sales. Click to catch up on this, and the rest of last week’s counterfeit medicine news.

Video: Feds Jail New York Money Launderers

October 12, 2021

When you buy prescription medicine online from an unlicensed pharmacy, your credit card charges can’t be legally processed by legitimate banks. Drug sellers turn to criminals to launder their payments. That’s how these New Yorkers just got a combined 104 months in prison for bank and wire fraud.

A Drug Dealer and a Pharmacist Hatch Plan to Firebomb a Rival Pharmacy.  No, Really.

October 5, 2021

A pharmacy owner and a darkweb dealer plotted to firebomb another pharmacy so they could buy more opioids, and then blame it on a jealous husband.

billboard with woman's face and fentanyl wanring

October 4, 2021: 1.8 m fake pills seized in just 2 months; deaths continue

October 4, 2021

As the DEA seized 1.8 million fake pills over just two months, families all over the country are sharing the stories of victims.

Read about this and catch up on thirty more counterfeit medicine stories here.

Video: DEA issues a rare public warning about counterfeit pills

October 4, 2021

The DEA issues a rare public warning about counterfeit pills containing fentanyl and methamphetamine being seized in all 50 states. Watch PSM’s video to learn more.

front page of DEA alert

September 27, 2021: The DEA Seized 9.6 Million Counterfeit Pills This Budget Year

September 27, 2021

This week the DEA warned that prescription medications bought on the black market contain fentanyl or methamphetamine, and reported that it had seized 9.6 million counterfeit pills in the 2020-2021 fiscal year–more than it seized in the previous two years combined.

Catch up on this and the rest of last week’s counterfeit medicine news.

Video: Hawaii becomes final state to report a fake pill victim

September 23, 2021

The August 2021 indictment of an alleged fentanyl pill dealer for the death of a Maui resident makes Hawaii the final U.S. state to confirm a counterfeit pill fatality. Watch our weekly video to learn more about the changes we’ve seen over the last six years.

September 20, 2021: With Hawaii, fentanyl pill deaths reported in all 50 states.

September 20, 2021

With the filing of charges against a Hawaii resident last month, PSM has confirmed fentanyl pill deaths reported in public sources in all 50 states. It’s more crucial than ever that your family knows that these deadly pills exist.

Catch up on this news and more than a dozen additional stories in this week’s news roundup.

September 13, 2021: COVID-scams around vaccines continue worldwide

September 13, 2021

Ever-adaptable, some COVID-scammers are making counterfeit COVID vaccine cards for vaccine refusers inside the U.S., while others gear up to sell fake vaccines to people desperately seeking them in the developing world.

Read these recent stories and a dozen more about fake medicine in this week’s news roundup.

Reward poster for Zhang Jian

September 7, 2021: Feds issue $5mm award for alleged fentanyl kingpin

September 7, 2021

The U.S. Department of State is offering up to $5 million for information leading to the arrest of Jian Zhang, a Chinese citizen who was indicted in 2017 for allegedly running fentanyl labs in China and selling fentanyl in pill and powder form to U.S. residents online.

This is just one of 28 fake medicine stories in this week’s news roundup.

Dr. Marv Shepherd, founding member of PSM, announces retirement from the board

September 1, 2021

The Board of Directors for the Partnership for Safe Medicines (PSM) announces the retirement of Board President Dr. Marvin D. Shepherd.

front page of report

August 30, 2021: Rogue labs in China still the ultimate source of illicit fentanyl

August 30, 2021

A new issue brief from U.S.-China Economic and Security Review Commission finds that even though China banned fentanyl production and sales in 2019, it is still the ultimate source of illicit fentanyl in the U.S.

Click to read the report and catch up on news in twelve states.

vaccine cards in a mailing envelope

August 23, 2021: States hit with a wave of fake COVID-19 vaccine cards

August 23, 2021

A few weeks ago, Customs and Border Protection in Tennessee announced that it had intercepted counterfeit vaccine cards shipped from China. This week’s roundup adds fake card news in Alaska, Illinois and Florida. Catch up on these and more than a dozen other safe medicines stories.

Partnership for Safe Medicines Statement on Pres. Biden’s Remarks on Lowering Prescription Drug Costs

August 16, 2021

Washington, D.C. (August 12, 2021) – Shabbir Safdar, executive director of the Partnership for Safe Medicines, released the following statement in response to President Biden’s remarks about lowering healthcare costs for Americans

Ad for fake vaccine cards

August 16, 2021: Fake vaccine card sellers up 257% on Telegram messaging app

August 16, 2021

An IT security firm reports that the number of sellers advertising fake vaccination cards on Telegram has spiked 257% since March 2021.

Catch up on this news and the rest of the week’s COVID-scam and counterfeit medicine news here.

Texas eBay Seller Recalls Diet Supplements Containing Banned Sibutramine

August 11, 2021

Am eBay seller is voluntarily recalling all lots of Hydro Pineapple Burn to consumer level because FDA analysis has found the product to contain undeclared sibutramine, an appetite suppressant that was withdrawn from the market because of safety issues.

California Boutique Recalls Diet Supplements For Containing Banned Sibutramine

August 10, 2021

Je Dois L’avoir Boutique is voluntarily recalling all of the 365 Skinny High Intensity Pills and or 365 Skinny Emergency Boutique, 30 day capsules supply to the retail/consumer level. The 365 Skinny High Intensity Pills and 365 Skinny Emergency Boutique have been found to contain Sibutramine which is a controlled substance by the DEA.

August 9, 2021: Save Me Magnets!

August 9, 2021

There are a lot of ineffective and ridiculous #covidscams out in the world, but this particular scam the FDA found that offers to “cure” COVID-19 with magnets takes the cake. Watch “Save Me Magnets!” to learn about this and other harebrained scams. If you need protection from COVID-19, it’s FREE! Text your zip code to 438829 to find out the nearest place for you to get a free vaccine.

August 9, 2021: Counterfeit HIV treatments reach U.S. pharmacies

August 9, 2021

Gilead Sciences reports that unauthorized distributors have been selling counterfeit versions of its HIV treatments, Biktarvy and Descovy, to U.S. pharmacies. It’s the second case of counterfeit HIV medicine reaching U.S. pharmacies in the last 12 months.

Counterfeit HIV Drug Alert: Gilead Warns of Fake Versions of Biktarvy and Descovy Sold to U.S. Pharmacies

August 5, 2021

Gilead has alerted potentially impacted pharmacies to investigate the potential for counterfeit or tampered Gilead medication sold by distributors not authorized by Gilead that may be within their recent supply and to remain vigilant to the potential for this to occur in the future. The authenticity and safety of Gilead-branded medicines can only be secure when obtained directly through Gilead’s authorized distributors.

Screenshot of bill listing on

August 2, 2021: Reps introduce bill to speed synthetic analogue scheduling

August 2, 2021

HR 4459, the Stop the Importation and Manufacturing of Synthetic Analogues (SIMSA) Act of 2021 would amend the Controlled Substances Act to “result in faster control of drugs designed to be used in the same illicit manner as already regulated or outlawed drugs.” Catch up on this and more than 30 more counterfeit medicine news stories.

Federal officials are busting doctors for COVID scams

July 31, 2021

Homeland Security Investigations’ Operation Stolen Promise has declared that its second year will focus on on fake treatments and vaccine fraud. That’s good, because this kind of fraud is pervasive, and it’s even coming from trusted sources like doctors. Learn about two recent federal cases here.

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July 26, 2021: Federal authorities in Maryland seize fake Walmart site selling unapproved COVID cures.

July 27, 2021

The U.S. Attorney’s Office in Maryland seized two websites that tried to mimic legitimate Walmart websites, and claimed to sell drugs that treat or prevent COVID-19. Read this and 15 more stories in the world of fake medicine.

Parents & PSM to the press: these deaths are poisonings

July 21, 2021

In May, New Orleans-based WWL TV covered the death of a high school senior who was killed by a fake prescription pill made with fentanyl just days before her graduation. Getting news out about these pills is incredibly important but so is accuracy. PSM and a group of parents wrote the station to point out the danger of describing these deaths as overdoses rather than poisoning.