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.

Pill Bottle labeled "Fake COVID Cure"

Counterfeit Medicine News for the Week of October 26, 2020

November 4, 2020

In PSM’s round-up this week: news about state drug importation, COVID-19 fraud, fake hand sanitizer stations, and more counterfeit medicine news.

There is no Way to Regulate the Quality of Drugs Imported by American Patients

November 1, 2020

This editorial by Brandon Macsata was published in The International Business Times on November 1, 2020. Macsata has been living with HIV since 2002, and serves as the CEO of the ADAP Advocacy Association, an organization that promotes the AIDS Drug Assistance Program and works to improve access to care.

Deadly Counterfeit Pills Found in All 50 U.S. States; Deaths Now Reported in 42 of Them.

October 26, 2020

With the recent report that police in Maui, Hawaii seized 400 counterfeit oxycodone pills made with fentanyl on October 2, 2020, the United States has reached a sobering milestone: public sources have reported about fake pills made with fentanyl in all 50 states.

A pill bottle labeled Oxyelite Pro emblazoned with the word "banned:

Counterfeit Medicine News for the Week of October 19, 2020

October 26, 2020

In PSM’s round-up this week: news about state drug importation, COVID-19 fraud, deadly workout supplements and counterfeit pills made with fentanyl.

Counterfeit Medicine: Crime and Policy, October 20, 2020

October 21, 2020

A summary briefing of 2020’s major cases, worrying trends and a deep dive into drug supply chain policy issues.

Aaron Shamo Mug Shot

Counterfeit Medicine News for the Week of October 12, 2020

October 19, 2020

In PSM’s round-up this week: new reports about counterfeit medicine, drug supply chain regulation and phishing scams; FDA warnings about dangerous supplements; a life sentence for fake pill kingpin Aaron Shamo; and more.

“…barriers will delay or prevent drug importation,” say regulatory experts

October 14, 2020

In this analysis, which was published in Lexology on October 13, 2020, three global regulatory experts examine barriers to drug importation.

Counterfeit Medicine News for the Week of October 5, 2020

October 14, 2020

In PSM’s round-up this week: Policy truths about drug importation, prosecutions for fake COVID-19 treatments and financial fraud, and another week in counterfeit pills.

US Attorney for Arizona Calls Illicit Fentanyl “The Most Dangerous Drug We Have Confronted as a Nation”

October 12, 2020

In the first seven months of 2020, the Arizona Department of Health Services reported over 2,700 newly suspected opioid overdose deaths in Arizona. What makes this figure more startling is that there were just over 3,800 suspected opioid deaths in the preceding 30 months. The problem is escalating, and rapidly.

Newspaper Editorial Board Says Canadian Drug Importation Will Have Limited Impact

October 8, 2020

The editorial board of the Florida Times-Union published an op-ed that states that Canadian drug importation will have a limited impact, and is a sign of a broken system, not a solution to one…

Wyoming’s Dept. of Health Recommends The State Not Attempt A Drug Importation Program

October 6, 2020

Wyoming is one of many states that decided to examine if importing drugs would provide significant savings to its citizens. In a hearing in August and a report released today, they took a critical look at the issue and the Department of Health recommends that the state not pursue the idea for several key reasons…

glass vials labeled COVID-19 vaccine

Counterfeit Medicine News for the Week of September 28, 2020

October 5, 2020

In PSM’s round-up this week: A new report about the counterfeit medicine trade, fake COVID-19 vaccines in India, the week in counterfeit pills.

Counterfeit Medicine News for the Week of September 21, 2020

September 28, 2020

In PSM’s round-up this week: HHS defies 20 years of expertise and guidance and recent negative feedback to finalize regulations for state-based Canadian drug importation programs, forward movement on the Safe Therapeutics Act, and more #covidscam and counterfeit drug news.

HHS Secretary Sent Congress The Certification To Allow Canadian Drug Importation

September 24, 2020

On September 23, 2020, Department of Health and Human Services Alex Azar submitted a letter to House Minority Leader Kevin McCarthy certifying that Canadian drug importation would pose not additional threats to consumers and would save Americans a significant amount of money on prescription drugs.

Trump Administration Defies 20 Years of FDA Expertise and Guidance in Finalizing Politically Motivated Drug Importation Rule

September 24, 2020

Trump Administration Defies 20 Years of FDA Expertise and Guidance in Finalizing Politically Motivated Drug Importation Rule Washington, D.C. (September 24, 2020) – Shabbir Safdar, executive director of the Partnership for Safe Medicines, released the following statement in response to the Trump Administration’s Final Rule issued today on the importation of prescription drugs: “With 40…

Final regulations released governing Canadian drug importation

September 24, 2020

On September 24th, 2020 the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services released a draft of finalized rulemaking for Importation of Prescription Drugs. Watch this space for the most up-to-date news.

September 9, 2020 video: 1,000 Fake Pills per bottle – a bust in Toronto

September 23, 2020

Last June, police in Ontario, Canada carried out Project Javelin, shutting down a huge counterfeiting operation that manufactured hundreds of thousands of fentanyl pills disguised as Oxycocet, a Health Canada-approved generic oxycodone and acetaminophen product with the same ingredients as Percocet.

Update: Executive Director Shabbir Safdar followed up with retired Chief Superintendent of the Ontario Police Don Bell to talk about the impact these criminals could have had. Watch that interview in our September 23rd video, “Deadly Pills in Ontario.”

Counterfeit Medicine News for the Week of September 14, 2020

September 21, 2020

In PSM’s round-up this week: 520,000 fake medical masks seized by Customs and Border Protection, another fake online pharmacy case, and a flood of news about counterfeit pills made with fentanyl.

FDA Alert: Acella Pharmaceuticals, LLC Issues Voluntary Nationwide Recall of Two Lots of NP Thyroid®, Thyroid Tablets, USP Due to Sub Potency

September 17, 2020

Risk Statement: Patients being treated for hypothyroidism (underactive thyroid), who receive sub potent NP Thyroid®, may experience signs and symptoms of hypothyroidism (underactive thyroid) which may include, fatigue, increased sensitivity to cold, constipation, dry skin, puffy face, hair loss, slow heart rate, depression, swelling of the thyroid gland and/or unexplained weight gain or difficulty losing weight. There is reasonable risk of serious injury in newborn infants or pregnant women with hypothyroidism including early miscarriage, fetal hyperthyroidism, and/or impairments to fetal neural and skeletal development. In elderly patients and patients with underlying cardiac disease toxic cardiac manifestations of hyperthyroidism may occur, such as cardiac pain, palpitations or cardiac arrhythmia. To date, Acella has received four reports of adverse events for these lot numbers possibly related to this recall.

Counterfeit Medicine News for the Week of September 7, 2020

September 14, 2020

In PSM’s round-up this week: $132 million in losses from #covidscams since March, fake online pharmacies selling counterfeit and non-FDA approved opioids, Operation Quack Hack, and more.

Counterfeit Medicine News for the Week of August 31, 2020

September 8, 2020

In PSM’s round-up this week: outrageous COVID-19-related financial fraud, fake treatments, and the week in deadly counterfeit pills.

Preventing Rx Medications from becoming the next toilet paper during the Coronavirus Pandemic

September 8, 2020

If you are taking a life-saving HIV medication right now, or any kind of life saving medication, you may be concerned about how to be certain that your supply of medicine is secure. In this post, William Arnold of the Community Access National Network , PSM’s Shabbir Safdar, and Brandon M. Macsata of ADAP Advocacy Association offer suggestions to help.

RLC Labs, Inc., Issues Voluntary Nationwide Recall of All Lots of Nature-Throid® and WP Thyroid® with Current Expiry Due to Sub Potency

September 3, 2020

Risk Statement: Patients being treated for hypothyroidism (underactive thyroid), who receive sub potent Nature-Throid® or WP Thyroid®, may experience signs and symptoms of hypothyroidism (underactive thyroid) which may include, fatigue, increased sensitivity to cold, constipation, dry skin, puffy face, hair loss, slow heart rate, depression, swelling of the thyroid gland and/or unexplained weight gain or difficulty losing weight.

CorgioMed LLC Issues Voluntary Nationwide Recall of All Lots of Leafree Instant Hand Sanitizer Aloe Vera Labeled as EDIBLE ALCOHOL

September 3, 2020

Risk Statement: Ingesting hand sanitizer, which is intended for topical use, may result in alcohol toxicity. Symptoms of alcohol toxicity may range from lack of coordination, slowed or slurred speech, drowsiness to coma, which can be fatal. Young children may experience a sharp decrease in blood sugar which may result in death. Pregnant women who ingest alcohol have experienced birth defects and developmental disabilities. Nursing mothers who ingest alcohol in above moderate levels may see developmental, growth and sleep pattern damages in their babies and may experience impaired judgement and ability to safely care for their child.

Sarah Ruth Bates

“These drugs would go through additional shipping, inspection and repackaging. Why would they be cheaper?”

September 2, 2020

In this editorial, which was published in WBUR’s Cognoscenti on September 2, 2020, writer Sarah Ruth Bates explains why Canadian drug importation is too expensive and elaborate a solution to be effective.

Image of hand sanitizers in beverage containers

Counterfeit Medicine News for the Week of August 24, 2020

September 1, 2020

In PSM’s round-up this week: ongoing coronavirus fraud, more hand sanitizer warnings and the week in fake medicine.

Close up of counterfeit oxycodone seized in Ontario, CA, June 2020

#FakePillsKill Three Young Adults Share Their Experiences with Fake Drugs

August 31, 2020

De‘Anna described her first experience with what she now knows was a counterfeit pill: “My first time taking a pill that was cut, a counterfeit pill, I blacked out, and woke up vomiting.”  She also described losing her partner to a fake pill, who died from one when he was just 21.

August 27, 2020 video: Behind the Scam: When Labels Lie

August 27, 2020

This week’s “behind the scam” video discusses a real-life example of “Uplabeling,” which is a technique that counterfeit criminals have used in the past to make major profits. Learn about what happened when counterfeiters slipped diluted anemia medicine back into the legitimate drug supply.

Counterfeit Medicine News for the Week of August 17, 2020

August 25, 2020

In PSM’s round-up this week: Our infographic summary of the NABP’s May report about fake pharmacies cashing in on COVID-19, ongoing coronavirus fraud, and the week in fake medicine.

Counterfeit Pill Takes the Life of a Hardworking College Graduate

August 24, 2020

24-year-old Travis Jacobson was excited about an upcoming job interview. Recently graduated from Sacramento State University, he moved to Los Angeles to live with his best friend Landon and launch a career in public relations. Sadly, Travis never made it to that interview. Wanting a good night’s sleep beforehand, he took a Xanax pill that turned out to be a fake made with fentanyl, and it took his life.

Louisiana AG Warns About Counterfeit Pills On College Campuses

August 20, 2020

In this editorial, Louisiana Attorney General Jeff Landry warns parents and students about the dangers posed by counterfeit pills being sold on college campuses.

NABP: Rogue Online Pharmacies in the Time of Pandemic: Capitalizing on Misinformation and Fear

August 18, 2020

In May 2020, the National Association of Boards of Pharmacy released Rogue Online Pharmacies in the Time of Pandemic: Capitalizing on Misinformation and Fear. to review how fake online pharmacies were exploiting patients responding to COVID-19.

This month, PSM finished an illustrated summary of NABP’s findings.

Young man in letter jacket standing in front a wall, wrestling boots, badge and medal alongside him

Life Cut Short for an All-American Kid

August 17, 2020

22-year-old West Haven, Utah resident Jaydon Rogers was an “all-American-kid.” A champion high school wrestler, he had tremendous enthusiasm for all kinds of sports, his family and life. Jaydon died of fentanyl poisoning on March 14, 2018 after he unknowingly took a counterfeit pill.

Screenshot of facemaskcenter.com homepage

Counterfeit Medicine News for the Week of August 10, 2020

August 17, 2020

In PSM’s round-up this week: selling fake facemasks to fund ISIS, fake COVID-19 cures and fake prescription drug trafficking.

Photo of patient advocate John Adams

Canadian patient advocate urges American friends to reject the “empty promises” of importation

August 14, 2020

In this August 14, 2020 editorial, Best Medicines Coalition chair John Adams explains why Canadian importation will not lower U.S. medicine prices—and why the “concept of cheap drugs from Canada has never been anything more than a political hallucination.”

picture of a pill press

Counterfeit Medicine News for the Week of August 3, 2020

August 12, 2020

In PSM’s round-up this week: COVID-19 fraud, a new DEA initiative to slow the sale of pill presses, and ongoing counterfeit pill news—including charges filed in the death of L.A. Angels pitcher Tyler Skaggs.

August 5, 2020 video: Behind the Scam: Uplabeling

August 5, 2020

This week’s video goes “behind the scam” to show you “Uplabeling,” which is a technique that counterfeit criminals have used in the past to make major profits. In uplabeling, counterfeiters took a low-dose medical product and made it look like a more expensive, high-dose version of the same drug simply by changing the label.

Jar of radish paste

Counterfeit Medicine News for the Week of July 27, 2020

August 3, 2020

In PSM’s round-up this week: Continuing COVID-19 fraud, counterfeit Botox, and ongoing counterfeit pill news.

July 29, 2020 video: Importation Executive Order Explainer

July 29, 2020

On July 24, 2020, the White House issued an executive order to implement three approaches to foreign drug importation, all of which involve dipping into other countries’ drug supplies and putting them in U.S. medicine cabinets. Watch this week’s video to learn more.

Citizens Against Government Waste Warns Drug Importation Executive Orders Will Cost Patients in More Ways Than One

July 28, 2020

In this July 28, 2020 editorial published in the WasteWatcher blog, Elizabeth Wright argues that the administration’s Executive Order will “encourage more illegal behavior and a greater production of counterfeit drugs from countries like China, Mexico, and India.” Wright is the Director of Health and Public Policy for Citizens Against Government Waste

FDA Alert: Food and Drug Administration Issues a More Serious Warning About Methanol in Hand Sanitizers

July 27, 2020

The FDA has issued a second, more serious warning about hand sanitizers that have been made with deadly methanol. Their first warning came on July 2, when they warned they had “seen a sharp increase in hand sanitizer products that are labeled to contain ethanol (also known as ethyl alcohol) but that have tested positive for methanol contamination.”

Top view of coffee cans in a box

Counterfeit Medicine News for the Week of July 20, 2020

July 27, 2020

In PSM’s round-up this week: PSM’s statement about drug importation, The Safeguarding Therapeutics Act, continuing COVID-19 fraud, and ongoing counterfeit pill news.

Statement on Trump Administration Executive Order on Drug Importation

July 24, 2020

Washington, D.C. (July 24, 2020) – Shabbir Safdar, executive director of the Partnership for Safe Medicines, released the following statement in response to President Trump’s executive order signed today on the importation of prescription drugs:

Ukrainian Pair Pleads Guilty to Importing and Selling Fake Cancer and Hepatitis C Drugs

July 22, 2020

A pair of men from Ukraine admitted in federal court that they conspired to smuggle and distribute counterfeit cancer and hepatitis C drugs into the United States. Maksym Nienadov, the owner of the Ukrainian-based company Healthy Nation, and his co-conspirator and employee – Volodymyr Nikolaienko – pleaded guilty in federal court in Houston, Texas to conspiracy, trafficking in counterfeit drugs and smuggling goods into the country.

4 Deaths and 26 Hospitalizations in Arizona Caused by Fake Hand Sanitizer Made with Methanol

July 21, 2020

The FDA has issued 70 recalls/warnings at last count for hand sanitizers made with deadly wood alcohol (methanol). Substantial methanol exposure can result in nausea, vomiting, headache, blurred vision, permanent blindness, seizures, coma, permanent damage to the nervous system or death.

Screenshot of ICE headline

Counterfeit Medicine News for the Week of July 13, 2020

July 20, 2020

PSM’s round-up this week includes fake PPE and COVID-19 treatments, deaths and hospitalizations related to hand sanitizer made of methanol, fentanyl pill seizures, and guilty pleas from two Ukrainian men who sold counterfeit cancer and hepatitis treatments to U.S. agents.

The Safeguarding Therapeutics Act passes the House Energy and Commerce Committee with full support

July 15, 2020

The House Energy and Commerce Committee marked up and passed H.R. 5663, the Safeguarding Therapeutics Act, today.

July 15, 2020 video: The Slow Boat to Justice–Prosecuting Foreign Drug Counterfeiters

July 15, 2020

Importing medicine from Canada is more dangerous than it looks because it is so difficult to prosecute fake or substandard drug sellers. Legislators and their consultants make it sound as if holding a foreign vendor accountable will be easy, but history has shown that the U.S. federal government, with all of its agreements, power, and resources, still struggles to bring criminals to justice.

AAA Cosmética, S.A. de C.V. Issues Voluntary Nationwide Recall of all Lots Within Expiry of bio aaa Advance Hand Sanitizer 480 mL Due to the Potential Presence of Undeclared Methanol (Wood Alcohol)

July 14, 2020

AAA is recalling all lots of their hand sanitizer due to the presence of undeclared methanol (wood alcohol) in their hand sanitizer products.

Photo of Brit covidscammer Frank Ludlow's basement

Counterfeit Medicine News for the Week of July 6, 2020

July 14, 2020

PSM continues to monitor public reports of dangerous counterfeit medical supplies and treatments. This week’s round-up includes news of COVID-19 scammers in the U.S. and overseas, fake pill traffickers in Arizona, South Carolina and Connecticut, and more.

4e Brands North America Issues Nationwide Voluntary Recall of Hand Sanitizer Due to Potential Presence of Undeclared Methanol (Wood Alcohol)

July 13, 2020

4e Brands of San Antonio, Texas is recalling all lots of their hand sanitizer due to the presence of undeclared methanol (wood alcohol) in their hand sanitizer products.

July 8, 2020 video: Cancer Drugs or Moldy Water?

July 8, 2020

In 2007, McLeod Cancer and Blood Center in Johnson City, Tennessee began buying medicine from Quality Specialty Products, a company that sold medicine from foreign sources that had not been inspected or approved by the FDA.

McLeod was just one of more than 900 U.S. medical practices caught buying non-FDA approved cancer drugs. Learn more about this ugly episode in black market medicines in this week’s video.

Fake pills pouring from industrial equipment

Counterfeit Medicine News for the Week of June 29, 2020

July 7, 2020

PSM continues to monitor public reports of dangerous counterfeit medical supplies and treatments. This week’s round-up includes news of COVID-19 scammers in the U.S. and overseas, as well as fake pill traffickers, and a startling counterfeit pill seizure in Italy.

Items seized in Ohio June 2020

Counterfeit Medicine News for the Week of June 22, 2020

June 30, 2020

PSM continues to monitor public reports of dangerous counterfeit medical supplies and treatments. This week’s round-up includes prosecutions of COVID-19 scammers and fake pill traffickers, massive seizures in across the U.S., and two tragic deaths.

June 24, 2020 #covidscams video: A million fake COVID-19 products seized

June 24, 2020

The Department of Homeland Security blew past a grim milestone this month: 1 million fake COVID-19 products seized: fake and substandard personal protective equipment like masks, counterfeit test kits, black market  medicine, unapproved thermometers, and fake treatments like colloidal silver or bleach.

Counterfeit Fentanyl Pills Seized in 6/18/2020 Ontario bust

Counterfeit Medicine News for the Week of June 15, 2020

June 22, 2020

PSM continues to monitor public reports of dangerous counterfeit medical supplies and treatments. Last week’s news includes prosecutions of COVID-19 scammers and counterfeit pill traffickers, and a massive fentanyl pill seizure in Canada.

First slide of video

June 17, 2020: Deadly fake pills have reached 49 U.S. states and killed many

June 17, 2020

It’s been happening since at least 2015, but many people are still not aware that counterfeit prescription pills laced with fentanyl and fentanyl analogs are circulating in nearly all the United States and killing many, many people.

picture of a non-contact thermometer and its packaging

Counterfeit Medicine News for the Week of June 8, 2020

June 15, 2020

PSM is still monitoring public reports of dangerous counterfeit medical supplies and treatments. Here’s a quick round-up of counterfeit news published the week of June 8, 2020.

PSM Statement on the New Pilot Program from NTIA and FDA

June 12, 2020

The Partnership for Safe Medicines (PSM) applauds the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) and the National Telecommunications and Information Administration (NTIA) pilot program established this week to curb unapproved opioids illegally available online by potentially suspending or blocking offending domain names.

cover of NABP Rogue Rx Activity Report

June 10, 2020 #covidscams video: Fake Online Pharmacies Pivot to COVID-19, says the NABP

June 10, 2020

This week on #covidscams, PSM reviews the National Association of Boards of Pharmacy’s new report, Rogue Online Pharmacies in the Time of Pandemic: Capitalizing on Misinformation and Fear.

Boxes of confiscated medicine

Counterfeit Medicine News for the Week of June 1, 2020

June 9, 2020

PSM is still monitoring public reports of dangerous counterfeit medical supplies and treatments. Here’s a quick round-up of counterfeit news published the week of June 1, 2020.

Counterfeit N95 mask and packaging

Counterfeit Medicine News for the Week of May 25, 2020

June 1, 2020

PSM is still monitoring public reports of dangerous counterfeit medical supplies and treatments. Here’s a quick round-up of counterfeit news published the week May 25, 2020.

Fake Hand Sanitizer and Mask

Lawsuit Filed By L.A. City Attorney In COVID-19 Fraud Case

May 28, 2020

The Los Angeles City Attorney’s Office filed a lawsuit against Wellness Matrix Group to stop the California-based business from preying upon the public by selling fraudulent COVID-19 products…

Image of Shabbir Safdar on video

May 27, 2020 #covidscams video: Fake N95 masks threaten our first responders and healthcare workers

May 28, 2020

The era of COVID-19 has been marked by shortages of medical equipment–hand sanitizer, test kits, gloves and, most of all, protective masks for healthcare workers and first responders. On May 13th, the Associated Press (AP) published a disheartening investigative piece–one in a series about the challenges of a worldwide medical supply chain–that shows just how difficult it is to establish that important medical supplies are safe and effective over the whole course of the purchasing process.

Fake COVID-19 test kits

Counterfeit Medicine News for the Week of May 18, 2020

May 26, 2020

PSM is still monitoring public reports of dangerous counterfeit medical supplies and treatments. Here’s a quick round-up of counterfeit news published the week May 18, 2020.

Man presenting on video

May 20, 2020 video: Maine Importation Update

May 20, 2020

Maine submitted a state importation plan to the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) recently to meet its own May 1, 2020 deadline. Given the deep structural flaws in both the idea of importing medicine from Canada and in Maine’s application to do so, PSM wonders if there is a better use of Maine taxpayer dollars than to continue to pursue this idea.

Items seized in Buffalo, May 2020

Counterfeit Medicine News for the Week of May 11, 2020

May 18, 2020

PSM is still monitoring public reports of dangerous counterfeit medical supplies and treatments. Here’s a quick round-up of counterfeit news published the week May 11, 2020.

Low angled view of the U.S. Capitol East Facade Front in Washington, DC.

PSM asks congress for domain name reforms to stop COVID-19 and other healthcare scams

May 14, 2020

Last week PSM asked Congress to help protect the public from online COVID-19 scams by requiring domain name sellers to suspend and lock websites that facilitate health fraud and re-opening registration information so that law enforcement can pursue criminals using websites to take advantage of the public.

Learn more

Fake Hand Sanitizer and Mask

Counterfeit Medicine News for the Week of May 4, 2020

May 11, 2020

PSM is still monitoring public reports of dangerous counterfeit medical supplies and treatments. Here’s a quick round-up of counterfeit news published the week May 4, 2020.

Still from the May 6 2020 COVID scams video

#covidscams episode for May 6, 2020: Domain Name Reform

May 6, 2020

Law enforcement is encountering problems kicking COVID-19 scammers offline. Learn how, and how we can fix it.

Research Study Confirms That Cheap And Safe Drug Importation Is Not Feasible

May 4, 2020

Research Study Confirms That Cheap And Safe Drug Importation Is Not Feasible Read the abstract for Dr. Acri’s article. In March 2020, the Journal of Pharmaceutical Health Services Research, an official journal of the Royal Pharmaceutical Society, published a study by Dr. Kristina M.L. Acri née Lybecker titled “State Pharmaceutical Importation Programmes: An Analysis of…

A bottle of poison pills casts a shadow over a map of the U.S.

Counterfeit Medicine News for the Week of April 27, 2020

May 4, 2020

Even as the COVID-19 pandemic unfolds, PSM is keeping a steady eye on public reports of dangerous counterfeit drugs. Here’s a quick round-up of counterfeit news published the week of April 27th, 2020.

Still image, April 29, 2020 covidscams video

April 29, 2020 episode: After 114 years of protecting Americans, the FDA is still hard at work—on #COVIDscams

April 29, 2020

The FDA was established to protect Americans from adulterated food and medicines and from criminals selling ineffective, outrageous, and sometimes harmful treatments. Unfortunately, fake cures are fertile ground for profiteers, and no matter how many products the FDA seizes, more crop up. In the wake of the COVID-19 pandemic the FDA has been working overtime to stop the sale of harmful and ineffective COVID “treatments.” This week PSM did some research in the FDA’s warning letter archives to survey fake COVID-19 cures.

#covidscams episode for April 22, 2020

April 22, 2020

In this edition: Senators take up ASOP’s Call To Arms on domain name scams, more fake test kits, and the nearly infinite pool of #covidscam domain names.

screenshot of April 14 video

#covidscams episode for April 15, 2020

April 15, 2020

In this edition: ASOP letter to the White House, more fake test kits and treatments and HR 5663, the Safeguarding Therapeutics Act

ASOP and 40 Patient Organizations Reach Out to Vice President Pence to Put a Stop to #Covidscams

April 15, 2020

In a letter dated April 9th, the Alliance for Safe Online Pharmacies (ASOP) has requested that the Vice President prioritize evidence-based messaging and focus energies on provable therapies for treating COVID-19. The letter also asks the Vice President to address the “systemic, structural Internet policy problems that enable COVID-19 scams online.”

As L.A. City Attorney Tackles One Fake COVID-19 Test Kit Company, Another Sets Up Shop

April 14, 2020

The Los Angeles City Attorney’s Office is being kept very busy trying to shut down LA area COVID-19 testing schemes that being offered without FDA or local health department approval.

#covidscams episode for April 8, 2020: LegitScript report, fake cures, fake testing sites, and covidscam bingo!

April 8, 2020

In this edition: LegitScript’s comprehensive report on COVID-19 cyberscams, U.K. man accused of selling fake COVID-19 cures, unauthorized COVID-19 testing sites in Kentucky,

Avoid COVID scams by buying medicine safely – Read our tips in English and en Español

April 7, 2020

Download our guide, AVOID SCAMS & COUNTERFEITS: Quick Tips to Safely Purchase Medicines Online (in English | en Español) to learn more about how to protect yourself and your loved ones from fake COVID-19 treatments.

COVID-19 Scams Video Update, March 30, 2020

April 1, 2020

In this edition: Rise of Fake ‘Corona Cures’ Revealed in Global Counterfeit Medicine Operation, Fake ‘COVID-19 Testing Kits’ Across North America, FDA Letter: Do Not Use Chloroquine Phosphate Intended for Fish as Treatment for COVID-19, and L.A. Warns of Coronavirus Consumer Issues.

Counterfeit Surgical Masks Seized During Operation Pangea, Fake COVID-19 Test Kits Seized by CBP

March 31, 2020

Operation Pangea found more than 34,000 bogus surgical masks among the 4.4 million illicit pharmaceuticals and 37,000 counterfeit medical devices seized during their seven-day global effort to target counterfeit drug crime. In Los Angeles, U.S. Customs and Border Protection seized counterfeit coronavirus test kits. #covidscams are on the rise.

FDA Alert: Do Not Use Chloroquine Phosphate Intended for Fish as Treatment for COVID-19 in Humans

March 27, 2020

The FDA’s Center for Veterinary Medicine has recently become aware that some consumers may mistake chloroquine phosphate used to treat disease in aquarium fish for FDA-approved drugs (used to treat malaria and certain other conditions in humans) that are being studied as a COVID-19 treatment for humans. Unfortunately, we have learned that one person in the United States has died after he and his wife reportedly took chloroquine used to treat their fish in an attempt to prevent COVID-19; his wife also became very ill. We are continuing to investigate this incident.

LA City Attorney Mike Feurer Warns Consumers about Coronavirus Fraud

March 26, 2020

 According to the LA City Attorney’s Office, they have taken action to remove Internet ads that made false claims about COVID-19 prevention and treatment. The Food and Drug Administration and Federal Trade Commission have already issued a warning that there are currently no vaccines or drugs approved to treat COVID-19.

Eight Surprising Things We Learned from Reading the 1,200 Comments Filed with the FDA on Canadian Drug Importation

March 23, 2020

For 78 days, the Department of Health and Human Services accepted public comment on the proposed rulemaking that would allow states to establish drug importation programs, individuals and organizations submitted 1,210 comments, and PSM read each of them. Here are what we feel are the most important takeaways…

Drug Counterfeiters Never Sleep: How Fake Drug Makers and Other Scammers are Exploiting COVID-19

March 18, 2020

“What we don’t need in this situation are companies preying on consumers by promoting products with fraudulent prevention and treatment claims. These warning letters are just the first step. We’re prepared to take enforcement actions against companies that continue to market this type of scam.”

DEA Warns that Counterfeit Pills and Fentanyl Continue to Threaten Americans

March 12, 2020

Each year, the U.S. Drug Enforcement Administration pools the knowledge of law enforcement agencies around the country to produce its National Drug Threat Assessment. This year, fentanyl, counterfeit prescription pills, and the pill presses are all listed as things that will continue to endanger American lives…

HHS comments come in overwhelmingly against Canadian drug importation proposal

March 10, 2020

Yesterday ended a 78-day comment period for the White House’s proposal to import medicine from Canada. In all, over 1,000 comments were filed. Overwhelmingly, these comments opposed the proposed rule or expressed skepticism that the rule could meet the two requirements listed in the Medicare Modernization Act of 2003: be safe and save consumers money. In fact, when you read the comments, it is clear that this policy is overwhelming opposed by experts on the issues of economics and medicine safety.

After Four Prosecutions over 16 Years, L.A. City Attorney Forces Fake Pharmacies to Close for Good

March 10, 2020

According to a notice on the L.A. City Attorney’s website, the Dominguez family allegedly ran a counterfeit drug operation that sold approximately 13,848 counterfeit and misbranded pharmaceuticals, including counterfeit and misbranded versions of anti-seizure and blood pressure medications, injectable birth control and steroids, among others.

Former FDA Associate Commissioner Warns of the “Massive Safety Risks of Importation”

March 3, 2020

This editorial by Peter J. Pitts was published in The Times Weekly on March 3, 2020. Mr. Pitts is president of the Center for Medicine in the Public Interest and a former FDA associate commissioner. Keep Canadian drugs out of U.S. medicine cabinets The Trump administration recently proposed two rules that would allow states, pharmacies,…

House Resolution demands open access to WHOIS Results

March 3, 2020

WHOIS data is searchable registrar information available for all websites on the Internet. It has long been used to trace criminal websites that host counterfeit and illicit drug sales, human trafficking, child pornography, and illicit and copyrighted content, as well as the websites of spammers, denial-of-services and phishing attackers, and other fraudsters.

photo of Ujjal Dosanjh

Canadian drug importation is “an economic fantasy,” former Canadian health minister says.

March 2, 2020

In this editorial in The Globe and Mail, Ujjal Dosanjh, formerly a federal minister of health and a premier of British Columbia, explains that drug manufacturers have no incentive to sell Canadian provinces more medicine to fill the needs of U.S. residents. Importation will lead to drug shortages in Canada and counterfeit drug trafficking to the U.S.

FDA Alert: Med Man Expands Voluntary Nationwide Recall of Up2 and Bow & Arrow Due to Presence of Undeclared Sildenafil

February 24, 2020

This is a reprint of an FDA Alert. 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 Announcement Date: February 24, 2020 FDA Publish Date: February 24, 2020 Product Type: Dietary Supplements…

FDA Worked With Indian Government To Seize 500 Counterfeit Drug Shipments in January

February 21, 2020

The U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) has just announced a successful joint operation with the Government of India targeting counterfeit prescription drugs, counterfeit over-the-counter medications, fake medical devices, and misbranded dietary supplements containing harmful ingredients. 

A bottle of poison pills casts a shadow over a map of the U.S.

PSM files comments on HHS’s proposed Canadian drug importation rules; cites danger to patients

February 11, 2020

Today The Partnership for Safe Medicines filed comments with Health and Human Services about the dangers posed by its draft regulations for state-based Canadian drug importation programs. PSM cited historic problems with and patient harm from Canadian vendors selling counterfeit medications to U.S. patients and medical practices; showed broad opposition to the plan by Canadian stakeholders; and provides alternatives that don’t impact patient safety.

Counterfeit Medicines Are a Problem in the European Union—A Problem that is Continuing to Grow

February 9, 2020

According to a report from Europol’s Intellectual Property Crime Threat Assessment 2019, “Counterfeit pharmaceuticals pose a growing threat to the EU, affecting a large number of Member States. A wide and increasingly diverse range of medicines is targeted by counterfeiters.”
The Europol ICP Threat Assessment reports that there has been an increase in seizures of counterfeit drugs used in the treatment of serious illnesses, as well as a growing number of counterfeit drug incidents affecting the legal drug supply chain. 

Security Breach Illustrates Another Danger of Fake Online Pharmacies

January 30, 2020

Planet Drugs Direct, an online pharmacy based in Winnipeg, Canada, has announced a data breach. Hackers broke into their servers, exposing customers’ names, medical details, and contact and banking information. Legitscript is unequivocal in calling Planet Drugs Direct a “Rogue Internet Pharmacy,” their worst rating for online pharmacies, accusing them of violating state and federal laws.

Infographic: Counterfeiting By The Numbers

January 30, 2020

Our infographic, “Counterfeiting by the Numbers,” highlights facts from the U.S. Department of Homeland Security’s January 2020 report, Combating Trafficking in Counterfeit and Pirated Goods, which documents the extraordinary scale of the global counterfeiting market and its effects across all economic sectors—including medicines.

PSM Statement on the passage of S.3201, which extends the DEA’s temporary scheduling of fentanyl-related substances as Schedule I for 15 months.

January 29, 2020

The Partnership for Safe Medicines (PSM) stands with our law enforcement partners in commending the U.S. Senate and the U.S. House of Representatives for their swift passage of S.3201, which would extend the DEA’s temporary scheduling of fentanyl-related substances to be Schedule I controlled substances for an additional 15 months. Without this reauthorization, criminals could…

New Jersey Enacts Increased Penalties for Counterfeit Drug Crimes

January 21, 2020

The Governor of New Jersey has just signed A-5037, a new law designed to increase penalties for counterfeit drug crimes committed in the state.

Counterfeiter Who Made At Least 4.3 Million Fake Xanax Pills Sentenced

January 17, 2020

The U.S. Department of Justice announced that Stephan Caamano, who manufactured and sold at least 4.3 million counterfeit Xanax pills, will spend the next 13 years in federal prison after pleading guilty to his crimes…