Our policy focus: protect patients

At the Partnership for Safe Medicines we advocate for policies that reduce patients' exposure to counterfeit medication. We believe that safety is paramount, and that no patient should ever have to wonder if the medicine they are dispensed is real. Cheaper medicine that comes with a worry about its safety is no medicine at all.

We hope you will join us in our advocacy for medicine safety. You can see our full set of advocacy positions in the document to the right.

PSM's briefing for the 118th Congress on February 28, 2023 included a keynote by U.S. Senator Rick Scott, and panels on Impediments to Foreign Drug Importation and Social Media & Counterfeit Pills. Watch the recording here.

 Visit our Virtual Briefing Page to learn how the $200 billion fake drug market affects the U.S.

PSM's Legislative Agenda (118th Congress, updated Jan. 2024)

Drug Importation

Importation 101 for 2021

PSM believes the safety of the drug supply chain is built upon its closed, regulated nature. Canadian drug importation is an idea that undermines the safety of the supply chain by involving vendors that cannot be regulated from overseas. Because it is opposed by Canada itself, it will certainly create a black market for medicine endangering American patients. PSM opposes foreign drug importation.

Background: Experts have concluded over and over again that importation is unsafe, unimplementable and and unlikely to save money. Learn why.

Watch our five minute video to learn the basics.

Read 20 years of statements opposing drug importation.

Track dangerous importation plans in your state.

Deadly Counterfeit Pills

Shamo-Pills copy

The latest wave of counterfeit pills has been flooding the U.S. since early 2015. PSM advocates on a variety of issues related to this wave of fake pills, including permanent scheduling of fentanyl and its analogues, regulations related to pill presses, and law enforcement resources to enable better enforcement and investigations.

Background: In July 2016, the DEA released an intelligence brief warning about counterfeit prescription pills made with fentanyl or its analogues. The pills were smuggled from Canada or Mexico or made by U.S. residents with powdered fentanyl and pill presses from China. They were killing Americans as early as 2015.

Fake fentanyl pills have since been found in all 50 states. Cartels have taken over and traffickers have expanded to include deadly new ingredients hidden in a variety of pill forms.

Learn more about the counterfeit pill trade and its victims.

Fake Online Pharmacies


Since the late 1990's, counterfeiters and black marketers have been selling questionable medicines to U.S. residents via the internet. PSM advocates on a variety of issues to reduce the threat to Americans, including transparency and lock and suspend for domain names of counterfeit drug sellers and creating a duty to report illegal online drug information.

Background: Almost 95 % of online pharmacy sites selling to U.S. patients are out of compliance with U.S. laws and pharmacy standards, often selling drugs without valid prescriptions or from unknown sources.

These medicines reach medical practices, too. In 2012, the FDA found counterfeit cancer medication with no active ingredient. Over the next four years. it warned more than 3,000 U.S. doctors to stop buying discounted medicines from unlicensed foreign sellers.

Learn about the case against one of these drug sellers, Canada Drugs.

Consult our news archives for the latest about online pharmacies.

Temporary scheduling of fentanyl-related substances and analogues is about to expire

Learn why scheduling fentanyl analogues is a vital policy tool in the fight against deadly counterfeit  medicines.  Then write your senators to ask them permanently schedule fentanyl analogues.

PSM continually tracks the latest in counterfeit drugs. Keep up with us via publications, news, Twitter and YouTube videos, and sign up for our weekly newsletter.