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.

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 Congress.gov

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.

IPRC seized domain banner

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.

Logo for Centers for Disease Control

Partnership for Safe Medicines Statement on the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention’s Drug Death Totals for 2020

July 21, 2021

Shabbir Safdar, executive director of the Partnership for Safe Medicines (PSM), released this statement in response to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention’s (CDC) preliminary statistics for the number of Americans whose deaths in 2020 involved drugs

diagram of the fentanyl molecule

July 19, 2021: CDC says U.S. drug deaths up almost 30%

July 19, 2021

Tragic preliminary statistics that show that drug deaths rose from 70,600 in 2019 to 93,000 in 2020 with 57,000 the result of synthetic opioids like fentanyl.

Click to read this and the rest of this week’s counterfeit medicine news.

Partnership for Safe Medicines Statement on Biden Administration Executive Order to Foster Competition

July 13, 2021

Shabbir Safdar, executive director of the Partnership for Safe Medicines, released this statement in response to President Biden’s executive order to foster competition, which favors importation of prescription drugs from Canada.

South Carolina hot-spot map showing fentanyl pill poisonings

July 12, 2021: South Carolina reports 500 fake pill poisonings since January 2020

July 12, 2021

Learn about South Carolina’s grave warning for its residents, and more than 30 other stories in counterfeit news.

Crime and Policy III: Counterfeit medicines in 2021

June 30, 2021

With the year half over, where are we with policy proposals and crimes that affect the safety of the supply chain?

Watch our June 30th webinar for an update.

June 28, 2021: CBP Stops Black Market Remdesivir On Its Way To Mexico

June 28, 2021

CBP officers captured more than 100 shipments of black market versions of the Covid-19 treatment remdesivir in recent months. Read to learn more about this and the rest of the week’s news in fake medicine.

picture of a barn in front of a large house

June 21, 2021: Busted In 2018, Connecticut Pill Maker Pleads Guilty

June 21, 2021

A guilty plea for a Connecticut man who made deadly counterfeit Percocet in Stamford, and a dozen more fake medicine stories.

Fentanyl Pill Victims Are Getting Younger. Parents Blame Social Media.

June 14, 2021

On June 4, 2021, parents and family members gathered in 30 cities around the country to protest social media companies’ inaction on drug sales on their platforms. The protest in Santa Monica focused on Snapchat headquarters.

June 14, 2021: Operation Pangea XIV stops $23 million in fake and unapproved medical products

June 14, 2021

Every year, Interpol coordinates Operation Pangea, a seven-day initiative that targets the sale of counterfeit and unauthorized medical products. Read this to learn about this year’s fake medicine haul, and catch up on 17 other stories in the news.

June 7, 2021: Families Across The Country Rally Over Fentanyl Deaths

June 7, 2021

Families rallied in 30 U.S. cities to draw attention to fentanyl poisoning deaths and to demand that social media companies stop drug dealers selling on their sites. Plus, 23 more counterfeit medicine stories.

Real and fake remdesivir side by side

Canadian drug importation – What’s the state of the issue in June 2021?

June 4, 2021

What’s happening with Canadian drug importation? What’s Florida doing with a big empty warehouse? Isn’t this policy currently in the courts? You’ve got questions and we’ve got answers.

June 1, 2021: CBP in Ohio Seizes $1.2 million in Counterfeit Drugs and Medical Devices

June 1, 2021

Customs and Border Protection are hard at work protecting Americans from counterfeit medicines and fake medical devices. Read on to learn about recent seizures of prescription steroids, COVID-19 test kits and more in Cincinnati, and catch up on 27 other stories about medicine safety.

Sign on a door

May 24, 2021: History Repeating: Doctor Injected Patients With Black Market Medicine

May 24, 2021

A Mississippi physician will pay more than half a million in fines, forfeitures and restitution for treating his patients with foreign, non-FDA-approved versions Prolia, Boniva, and Aclasta.

And 15 more stories from the world of counterfeit medicine.

Counterfeit pill dealers poison their victims. The press should say so.

May 24, 2021

The media speaks as if counterfeit pill victims were seeking drugs and “overdosed” because they took too much of them, but that doesn’t accurately reflect what is happening. Too often, victims have been sold drugs that they weren’t seeking at all.

Help PSM tell journalists that pill victims have been poisoned, not overdosed.

The back of a handcuffed man with a bag of pills taped to his back

May 10, 2021: 12 Federal Drug Cases with Fatalities—8 with Fake Pills—in California, and more counterfeit news

May 17, 2021

U.S. Attorneys in California announced 12 new drug prosecutions (8 for fake fentanyl pills) all of which involved deaths. Plus, 19 more stories about counterfeit medicines and COVID-19 fraud.

May 3, 2021: A short extension for fentanyl analogue scheduling, and more counterfeit news

May 10, 2021

A short 6-month extension for emergency scheduling of fentanyl analogues, an update to Illegal Pill Presses: An Overlooked Threat to American Patients, and twenty more COVID fraud and medicine safety stories.

cover 2021 update on pill presses

Illegal Pill Presses Pose Serious, Nationwide Threat to American Patients and Communities

May 4, 2021

The Partnership for Safe Medicines and the National Association of Drug Diversion Investigators have released an update to 2019’s Illegal Pill Presses: An Overlooked Threat to American Patients.

Since the initial report, fentanyl deaths are higher than ever and these pills – created by clandestine pill presses around the globe – continue to be sold on the streets and on the dark web.

tweet showing flaws in packaging of fake Covifor

Fake Remdesivir in India and more counterfeit news, April 26, 2021

May 3, 2021

This week’s roundup includes: Fake remdesivir plagues India and 18 more counterfeit medicine and COVID-fraud stories you may have missed.

Partnership for Safe Medicines’ Statement on Congressional Action to Permanently Schedule Fentanyl-Related Analogues and Substances

May 3, 2021

Shabbir Safdar, Executive Director of the Partnership for Safe Medicines, released the following statement today in response to Congressional actions to permanently scheduling illicitly manufactured and deadly fentanyl…

Grand Junction, Colorado man convicted for selling fakes that killed, and more counterfeit news, April 19, 2021

April 26, 2021

This week’s roundup includes: a conviction in Colorado, fake COVID-19 vaccines, Operation Stolen Promise statistics and 17 more counterfeit medicine stories.

A German Shepherd in front of a table of seized drugs

News roundup for the week of April 12, 2021

April 19, 2021

This week: 70 months for a Pennsylvania man who trafficked counterfeit medicines, two fentanyl pill operations shut down, counterfeit pill seizures and warnings and a couple of #covidscams.

Counterfeit HIV drug underscores risks of a weaker drug supply chain, advocate warns.

April 13, 2021

ADAP Advocacy Association CEO Brandon M. Macsata wrote this editorial, which appeared on the AIDS Drug Assistance Program’s website on April 1, 2021.

The Association first warned constituents that counterfeit Symtuza had been distributed to three U.S. pharmacies in December 2020, when Janssen issued an alert.

tweet about Quebec bust

News roundup for the week of April 5, 2021

April 12, 2021

This week: The government undertakes scheduling fentanyl analogues, another silicone injection case, a huge counterfeit pill trafficking bust in Quebec, and many, many more fentanyl pills.

What is “Permanently Scheduling” Fentanyl-related Substances and Analogues, and Why is it so Important?

April 9, 2021

Learn why permanently scheduling fentanyl-related substances and analogues on Schedule I of the Controlled Substances Act is an important policy tool in the fight against fentanyl-laced counterfeit medicines.

PSM Member Spotlight: Rx Outreach

April 9, 2021

PSM wanted to shine a spotlight on member organization Rx Outreach. Not only does this organization provide affordable medications for people in need, but Rx Outreach also runs a program called Healthy Reentry to fill the medication gap to help ex-offenders as they transition back into society…

bags of orange pills

News roundup for the week of March 26, 2021

April 5, 2021

This week: A federal jury indicts a man for smuggling and selling fraudulent COVID-19 treatments, a woman pleads guilty for a silicone injection death in Missouri, police seize nine million fake clonazepam tablets in Europe, and news about counterfeit pills in ten U.S. states.

Eye patch packare

News roundup for the week of March 22, 2021

March 29, 2021

This week: A new contaminant in hand sanitizers, mystery medicated eye patches, sentencing for Ukrainian counterfeiters and counterfeit pill updates.

FDA Alert: Third Dietary Supplement Sold on Amazon Recalled for Containing Prescription Drug Ingredients

March 28, 2021

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.

FDA Alert: Second Dietary Supplement Recalled for Containing Prescription Drug Ingredients

March 26, 2021

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.

FDA Alert: Dietary Supplement Recalled for Containing Prescription Drug Ingredients

March 25, 2021

Consumers should contact their physician or healthcare provider if they have experienced any problems that may be related to using these drug products.

gloved hand holding vaccine vial

Counterfeit Medicine News for the week of March 15, 2021

March 23, 2021

This week: fake COVID-19 vaccines seized in Mexico, updates on the impact of fentanyl pills in 2020, warnings about counterfeit pills made with methamphetamine and more.

Canadian Drug Importation Stalls

March 23, 2021

The White House approved regulations for state drug importation in late state, green-lighting several states’ efforts to implement importation.

None of them is up and running yet. Check out this week’s video and post for an update.

vitamin bottles with illicit pills in them

Counterfeit Medicine News for the week of March 8, 2021

March 15, 2021

This week: FDA warns against ivermectin as a COVID treatment, a fourth fraudulent pharmaceutical company website, counterfeit pill prosecutions and seizures in seven states.

Screenshot of FDA warning letter

Counterfeit Medicine News for the week of March 1, 2021

March 8, 2021

This week: The FDA moves on fake FDA registration certificates and warns Mercola to stop selling supplements with fake COVID claims. The U.S. Attorney in Maryland shuts down another fake pharma phishing site. Counterfeit vaccines in South Africa. Counterfeit pill news in 11 states.

New report from DEA says cartels are driving fake pills, and fake pills are driving drug deaths

March 4, 2021

The annual DEA National Threat Assessment, which covers 2019 and the first half of 2020, is the best source of unclassified data on drug smuggling, illicit substance trafficking, and counterfeit medications as it affects Americans. Watch our News of the Week video at right, or read the high points on our Twitter thread.  Below you’ll…

Nearly One Million Poison Pills in 30 Days: Counterfeit Pills are Fueling U.S. Drug Deaths

March 2, 2021

The CDC says drug deaths are up 24% and the U.S. has seized nearly one million fake pills in the last 30 days.

Image of Online Website

Counterfeit Medicine News for the week of February 23, 2021

March 1, 2021

This week: More counterfeit medical masks in Washington; prosecutions in nine states; fentanyl pill poisoning deaths in California, Missouri, New York, North Dakota and Wisconsin; and more.

glow worm toy and pills

Counterfeit Medicine News for the week of February 15, 2021

February 22, 2021

In this week’s news: 11.1 million counterfeit n95 masks seized, invalid COVID-19 test results, pandemic-related benefits fraud, large fentanyl pill seizures, and another two doctors plead guilty to importing oncology drugs.

Pills in a blue bottle

Counterfeit Medicine News for the week of February 8, 2021

February 17, 2021

In this week’s news: More counterfeit masks, more fake medicine seizures, and a deadly new ingredient in pressed pills: clonazolam.

ED-Marketed Dietary Supplement Recalled Due to Presence of Prescription Drugs

February 15, 2021

This recall has been initiated after an FDA laboratory analysis found the product to contain undeclared sildenafil and/or tadalafil. Sildenafil and tadalafil are ingredients in FDA approved products for the treatment of male erectile dysfunction in the family of drugs known as phosphodiesterase (PDE-5) inhibitors. The presence of sildenafil and/or tadalafil in Adam’s Secret Extra Strength products makes them unapproved new drugs for which the safety and efficacy have not been established and therefore subject to recall.

Counterfeit Tevo Oxycocet bottles

Counterfeit Medicine News for the week of February 1, 2021

February 8, 2021

In this week’s news: Counterfeiting of COVID-19 masks, vaccines and medicines continues; significant fake medicine operations in Canada, Mexico, the European Union, and here in the U.S.

Tweet about Rand Report

RAND finds unbranded generics cheaper in the U.S. than in 32 other countries.

February 1, 2021

In 2019, the U.S. Health and Human Services Agency hired the RAND Corporation to do a study comparing drug prices around the world to U.S. prices. They found that Americans pay 16% less than other countries for our unbranded generics—and generics make up 85% of drugs Americans are prescribed.

ad selling N95 masks

Counterfeit Medicine News for the week of January 25, 2021

February 1, 2021

In this week’s news: Fake masks, fake COVID vaccines, fake pills and fake pill manufacturing across the U.S.

FDA Puts All Mexico-Produced Hand Sanitizers on Import Alert

January 26, 2021

Under the import alert, alcohol-based hand sanitizers from Mexico offered for import are subject to heightened FDA scrutiny, and FDA staff may detain the shipment. As part of their entry review, FDA staff will consider any specific evidence offered by importers or manufacturers that the hand sanitizers were manufactured according to U.S. current good manufacturing practice requirements. This marks the first time the FDA has issued a countrywide import alert for any category of drug product.

Hundreds of Recalls: Methanol-Contaminated Hand Sanitizer

January 25, 2021

When the first FDA alerts warning of methanol-contaminated hand sanitizers brands emerged, we reported them through our FDA alert system. Within weeks however, this trickle of hand sanitizer recalls turned into a flood. Learn more here.

Counterfeit Medicine News for the week of January 18, 2021

January 25, 2021

In this week’s news: A Seattle man was arrested for COVID-vaccine fraud; sales of fake COVID-19 vaccines on the dark web up 400% since December; prosecutions of fake pill peddlers, and more.

Counterfeit Medicine News for the week of January 11, 2021

January 19, 2021

This week: A new report from the National Association of Boards of Pharmacy, COVID-19 vaccine fraud, a guilty plea in a fake online pharmacy case, counterfeit pill news, and more.

A Campaign to Spread the Word About Fake Pill Deaths in the Central Valley of California

January 13, 2021

When the Central Valley Opioid Safety Commission contacted us about helping them promote a public safety message about the dangers of counterfeit pills made with fentanyl, of course we said yes. Their 30-second spot featured the family of Travis Jacobson, a young Californian who was tragically killed by a fake Xanax pill that turned out to be lethal. We at PSM were happy to underwrite both the direct costs and the labor costs of such an important public health message. 

Counterfeit Medicine News, December 22, 2020 – January 8, 2021

January 11, 2021

PSM’s round-up this week closes out 2020 with hundreds of thousands of counterfeit surgical masks, scammers cashing in on COVID-19 vaccines with fake Eventbrite listings, fake cancer treatments, and more.

Florida Abandons Its Safety Promises in its Drug Importation Plan

January 11, 2021

Watch our two minute video and read this post to learn how Florida’s importation plan fails to meet federal requirements, its own requirements, and promises supporters made during the legislative process.

Team player Taylor Martinek lost his life to a fake oxycodone

January 7, 2021

24-year-old Taylor Martinek died of fentanyl poisoning in 2017, after he took an oxycodone pill that turned out to be counterfeit. Since then, his family has been trying to change Oregon law to increase penalties for dealers who cause deaths like Taylor’s.

Methanol-Contaminated Rubbing Alcohol Recalled by FDA

January 4, 2021

This is a reprint of an FDA Alert. Essaar Inc. Issues Voluntary Nationwide Recall of Rubbing Alcohol Contaminated with Methanol When a company announces a recall, market withdrawal, or safety alert, the FDA posts the company’s announcement as a public service. FDA does not endorse either the product or the company. Company Name:Essaar Inc.Company Contact…

Welcome to 2021. Here’s the next 6 months in counterfeit medicine news.

January 4, 2021

If you’re a reporter who covers healthcare and especially public health issues, this is what we think you should be watching for in the next six months of a better 2021

Counterfeit Medicine News for the Week of December 14, 2020

December 21, 2020

In PSM’s round-up this week: Make sure you’re getting the REAL COVID-19 vaccine, plus prosecutions and seizures involving dangerous supplements, a fake online pharmacy and a variety of counterfeit pills.

Importation 101 for 2021

December 14, 2020

Many advocates and legislators are considering whether to pursue Canadian drug importation in 2021, but importation is not and never has been a viable option.

Watch our video to learn the basics and for an update on four states that have been trying to move forward with this idea.

Fake COVID test kits coming our of a foil packet

Counterfeit Medicine News for the Week of December 7, 2020

December 14, 2020

In PSM’s round-up this week: ongoing COVID-19-related fraud, Europol’s Operation Shield, and counterfeit pill news in six states.

Boxes of masks seized in Chicago

PSM Applauds Senate Passage of the Safeguarding Therapeutics Act

December 9, 2020

The Partnership for Safe Medicines (PSM) applauds the passage of H.R. 5663 – the Safeguarding Therapeutics Act. The bipartisan bill, introduced by Congressman Brett Guthrie (KY-02-R) and Congressman Eliot Engel (NY-16-D), was passed via unanimous consent in the Senate on December 8th.

Canada’s Actions a Death-Knell for Drug Importation in Florida

December 9, 2020

This editorial by the Sun Sentinel Editorial Board was published in The Sun Sentinel on December 9, 2020. The Editorial Board consists of Editorial Page Editor Rosemary O’Hara, Dan Sweeney, Steve Bousquet and Editor-in-Chief Julie Anderson.   There Go Those Cheaper Drugs. Remember Florida’s plan to save money by importing prescription drugs in bulk from…

image of hocky referree on red background. text is "Canada Says No"

Counterfeit Medicine News for the Weeks of November 23 and 30, 2020

December 8, 2020

In PSM’s round-up this week: Canada banned exporting drugs to the U.S. if it will cause drug shortages at home, the FTC warns about fake COVID-19 testing centers, several large counterfeit pill busts, and more.

New Mexico public hearing on Canadian Drug Importation (Dec. 2, 2020)

December 3, 2020

On Tuesday, December 2, 2020, New Mexico conducted their one and only public hearing on their plan to import medicine from Canada (over Canada’s objections). While the hearing was largely a formality, there was some interesting testimony.

How Federal Agents Caught Two Ukrainian Drug Counterfeiters

December 2, 2020

Would you fly 6,000 miles to meet with a stranger who could be your new literal partner in crime? In April 2019, two Ukrainians did just that. While they dreamed of getting their counterfeit medicines into the legitimate U.S. drug supply chain, that dream was thwarted by the hard work and perseverance of federal investigators in Immigration and Customs Enforcement’s Homeland Security Investigations (HSI).

Map of Maine with a pill bottle displaying a maple leaf. As it peels away, the label shows a poison symbol

Maine’s Medicaid program analysis shows the truth: importing medicine from Canada would cost more, not less.

December 1, 2020

In an analysis of 50 prospective drugs, Maine’s Medicaid program found that it would lose nearly a million additional dollars ($927,983.28, to be exact) importing these drugs from Canada. How can this be? For many reasons, Canada is not the land of cheap drugs people think it is.

Statement on Litigation Challenging Legality of Administration’s Final Rule Permitting State-Sponsored Drug Importation From Canada

November 23, 2020

Today, PhRMA, The Partnership for Safe Medicines and Council for Affordable Health Coverage initiated litigation in the U.S. District Court for the District of Columbia challenging action by HHS and FDA permitting pharmacists and wholesalers, pursuant to state-sponsored programs, to import certain prescription drugs from Canada into the United States without drug manufacturers’ authorization or oversight.

yellow pills in a clear plastic bag

Counterfeit Medicine News for the Week of November 16, 2020

November 23, 2020

In PSM’s round-up this week: Government authorities take legal action against COVID scammers; an insurance broker (allegedly) decided to open his own unlicensed pharmacy; ongoing counterfeit medicine news, and more.

Counterfeit Medicine News for the Week of November 9, 2020

November 16, 2020

In PSM’s round-up this week: An analysis of New Mexico’s draft drug importation plan, reports on COVID-19 fraud, and this week in counterfeit medicine news.

An Analysis Of New Mexico’s Draft Canadian Drug Importation Plan

November 12, 2020

The state of New Mexico released a draft of its Canadian drug importation plan. PSM analyzed the plan, paying particular attention to concerns pharmacists might have about how drug importation might affect their patients and business…

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Counterfeit Medicine News for the Week of November 2, 2020

November 9, 2020

In PSM’s round-up this week: FDA and FTC warnings over fake COVID-19 treatments and fraud, as well as fake medicine news in seven U.S. states, Canada and Cambodia.

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Jake Beddoe Sheltered from COVID-19, Only to Die from Fake Xanax

November 6, 2020

Seeking a good night’s sleep, 25-year-old Jake Beddoe, a young travel consultant with an adventurous heart and a tremendous sense of humor, took part of what he thought was a Xanax pill on May 27, 2020. The pill was counterfeit, and Jake died of fentanyl poisoning.