Publications

The Partnership for Safe Medicines develops materials to keep policymakers, pharmacists, law enforcement and all Americans up-to-date on major issues that effect the safety and legitimacy of U.S. medicines.

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Publications Archive

Since 2015, fentanyl has changed the drug landscape

Fentanyl and fentanyl pills have transformed the drug landscape since 2015 Counterfeit pills made with fentanyl have proliferated across the U.S. since 2015, killing people in all 50 states. As cartels have taken over fentanyl pill production, they have become heavily trafficked. Distribution has transitioned from the street and the ...

Talking About Counterfeit Medicine

Drug use among 14- to 18-year-olds is falling, but teen fatalities have doubled since 2019 as a result of counterfeit pills made with synthetic opioids like fentanyl. The drug is driving drug deaths across the U.S., and it is also commonly found in heroin, cocaine, methamphetamine and MDMA. Make sure everyone you ...
cover 2021 update on pill presses

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

Illegal Pill Presses Pose Serious, Nationwide Threat To American Patients And Communities WASHINGTON, D.C. (May 3, 2021) - Today, the Partnership for Safe Medicines and the National Association of Drug Diversion Investigators released an updated report titled Illegal Pill Presses: An Overlooked Threat to American Patients. The report shows that, ...

Are safety-tested imported drugs still cheaper? No. They are more expensive.

Testing medicine for legitimacy is a complicated process. Across 24 different prescription medicines, the average cost to test a single dose is $2,750. However, ensuring that a batch of 100 pills is 90% certain to be safe requires testing at least 22 pills. Achieving 99.999% certainty requires even more testing, ...

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

Deadly Counterfeit Pills Found in All 50 U.S. States; Deaths Now Reported in 42 of Them. Washington, D.C. (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: ...

Criminal Internet Pharmacy Networks Are Capitalizing on COVID-19.

In May 2020, the National Association of Boards of Pharmacy (NABP) released Rogue Online Pharmacies in the Time of Pandemic: Capitalizing on Misinformation and Fear, which focuses on how established fake pharmacy networks have pivoted to cash in on the coronavirus. PSM's illustrated version of the report offers a compact ...
5 types of covidscams bookmar

Download our “5 Types of #covidscams” bookmark

Our #covidscams bookmark educates patients about five kinds of online crime that have spiked since the pandemic. Download a copy for yourself and visit our covid-19 scams tracking page to catch up on the news.  

How Many Tests Need to Be Performed to Know That a Batch of Pills is Safe?

Testing medicine for legitimacy is a complicated process. Across 24 different prescription medicines, the average cost to test a single dose is $2,750. However, ensuring that a batch of 100 pills is 90% certain to be safe requires testing at least 22 pills. Achieving 99.999% certainty requires even more testing, ...

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

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.

HHS comments come in overwhelmingly against Canadian drug importation proposal

HHS comments come in overwhelmingly against Canadian drug importation proposal 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 ...
front side of the bookmark

“5 Ways” consumer bookmark

Download our "5 Ways" Consumer Bookmark for a quick reference about how to protect yourself from counterfeit medicine.  

Infographic: Counterfeiting By The Numbers

Download Counterfeiting by the Numbers In January 2020, The U.S. Department of Homeland Security released Combating Trafficking in Counterfeit and Pirated Goods. The report documents the extraordinary scale of the global counterfeiting market and its effects across all economic sectors—including medicines. Counterfeits are ubiquitous across the whole world, including the ...
Infographic showing how medication is tested.

How do you test whether a medication is legitimate?

Testing medicine for legitimacy is a complicated process. Across 24 different prescription medicines, the average cost to test a single dose is $2,750. However, ensuring that a batch of 100 pills is safe requires testing at least 22 pills. To learn more about this topic, read PSM's summary: safedr.ug/Acri-Explained. Click ...

Drug Importation By the Numbers

When broken down to the nuts and bolts of implementation and operational execution, currently proposed drug importation plans fall apart. Drug Importation is neither a safe nor cost-effective solution.  The numbers do not lie. References House testimony in energy and commerce by Carol Cave, FDA, July 16, 2019: https://www.fda.gov/news-events/congressional-testimony/oversight-federal-efforts-combat-spread-illicit-fentanyl-07162019 The ...

Do You Know What A Pill Press Is?

Do you know what a pill press is? Drug counterfeiters can acquire a pill press and a counterfeit pill mold to churn out counterfeit medications for less than $500. Unfortunately, "garage manufacturers" are not careful about manufacturing controls, and their products often contain fatal doses of fentanyl or other drugs. ...

Illegal Pill Presses: An Overlooked Threat to American Patients (2019)

The supply of and demand for dangerous counterfeit and illegally-imported medications has created one of our country's most serious health challenges-and the prevalence of illegal pill presses are contributing to this crisis. For more information Visit the report launch site Read our 2021 update.

Black Market Cancer Drugs In the U.S. 2007–2018

Download Black Market Cancer Drugs in the U.S.
Cover to F101 graphic

Fentanyl 101: What you need to know

Click to download Fentanyl 101.

Who Opposes Drug Importation? Every Head of the FDA and HHS Since 2000

Ordering prescription drugs from non-FDA approved foreign sources is a dangerous path, opposed by all of the previous heads of the United States Food and Drug Administration (FDA), United States Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) since 2000. Alex M. Azar, II, current Secretary of Health and Human Services, May 2018 "...the ...
front page of HIV resource

Black Market HIV Drugs in the U.S.

Download our reference about black market HIV medicines.

New Report Shows Widespread and Deadly Impact of Illegally-Imported Fentanyl (April 2018 Update)

New Report Shows Widespread and Deadly Impact of Illegally-Imported Fentanyl Partnership for Safe Medicines Analysis Confirms Discovery of Counterfeit Prescription Drugs Made with Fentanyl in 43 States, Deaths in 22 States Washington (April 10, 2018) - A new report released today by The Partnership for Safe Medicines (PSM) illustrates the ...
Cover of a Report entitled Counterfeit Drugs in America: Crimes, Victims & Solutions. Fact Pack, Second Edition

Counterfeit Drugs in America 2017

Click on image above to download the PDF of the document. Counterfeit Drugs in America: Crimes, Victims and Solutions. Fact Pack, 2nd edition This page offers direct links to sources cited in the footnotes for the 2017 edition of the Partnership for Safe Medicines'  Counterfeit Drugs in America.  Want copies? Email us at editors@safemedicines.org. ...

Bipartisan Safety Issues: How Many Different Kinds of Black Market Medicines have been Sold in Your State?

In 2012, the FDA discovered that American doctors had purchased illegally imported, counterfeit Avastin from subsidiaries of CanadaDrugs.com. They saved money on the medicine for their patients, but their sources were unreliable: some of the cancer treatments had no active ingredient. Since then, the agency has issued warnings to more than 3,000 doctors, clinics and ...

Rogues Gallery Comics: An Illustrated Guide To Counterfeit Drug Crime

Rogues Gallery Comics: An Illustrated Guide To Counterfeit Drug Crime Ever wonder about what’s behind the news for counterfeit drug crime? The Rogues Gallery Comic Book Series tells the real-life stories of fake drug criminals and their cases. In volume one, you can learn all about the Greedy Doctor that ...

Safety Tips Campaign

  Safety Tips for Doctors and Patients   Educate your organization members on the dangers of counterfeit medicines, but also teach them how to keep safe from dangerous fake drugs. SAFEMEDICINES has 26 tips for patients and another 27 for doctors and other healthcare providers that you can share with ...

PSM’s Safe Savings Resource

American patients can save money on their prescriptions and still stay safe Americans are searching for less expensive medication, but also want assurance that the drugs they rely on are safe, untainted and regulated to ensure quality. Americans looking for better prices on prescription drugs don’t have to look far. ...

5 Kinds Of Poisons Found In Counterfeit Drugs

There are a lot of shady ingredients that go into counterfeit medications that consumers can be exposed to by buying directly from unlicensed drug sellers on the internet, or when medical professionals purchase medications from outside the secured supply chain. Here is a compendium of five types of poison that ...

Save Money Safely from Online Pharmacies

This is the web version of SAFEMEDICINES' consumer handout "Save Money Safely on Your Prescriptions from Online Pharmacies". This version contains a number of hyperlinks to counterfeiting-related incidents. You can also download a PDF version of this document (without hyperlinks). SAFEMEDICINES Teaches You to Save Money Safely on Your Prescriptions ...

Do YOU Know How to Decode a Fake Pharmacy Website?

A quick perusal of the Internet will turn up a vast array of websites claiming to offer pharmacy services. Yet only 3% of online pharmacies are legitimate. How do you decode a fake pharmacy website? A quick perusal of the Internet will turn up a vast array of websites claiming ...

Black Market Injectable Cosmetic Treatments, a Nationwide Problem

Created in partnership with the Physicians Coalition for Injectable Safety, Black Market Cosmetic Injectables in the U. S. 2005 – 2013 highlights the pervasive intrusion of fake and misbranded injectable cosmetic treatments into the secure U.S. drug supply chain. Since 2005, there has been one death and 11 other patients ...

Patient Advocates Warn of Dangers of Black Market HIV Medicines

  On HIV Vaccine Awareness Day, CANN and PSM Remind Patients to Be Vigilant When Purchasing Their Medication Washington, D.C. (May 21, 2014) - Following HIV Vaccine Awareness Day, two leading advocates are teaming up to better educate patients about the risks of counterfeit or black market HIV/AIDS medicines. Since 2006, 82 ...

PSM Releases Report on Black Market IUDs at U.S. Clinics

Download and share the Black Market IUD Cases Resource which highlights important cases of illegally imported, non-FDA approved IUDs that were purchased by doctors and inserted into unsuspecting patients at clinics in the U.S. in the past five years. Since 2009, 35 doctors in 7 states have been prosecuted for exposing ...

PSM Releases Overview of Unapproved Cancer Medication Cases

PSM’s Black Market Cancer Drug Cases 2007-2013 looks back through the past 6 years at the numerous cases of fake or misbranded cancer drugs that were sold by shady black market drug sellers and purchased by doctors and clinics throughout the United States. Since 2007, 16 physicians and drug distributors ...

Counterfeit Drug Incidents in G8 Countries

Download the graphic here (pdf 643.0K)   Sources: 1.  In May 2013 leaders from the Group of 8 (G8) countries agreed “to exchange information on rogue internet pharmacy sites in accordance with national law and share best practices on combating counterfeit medical products." In June 2013 the G8 issued a report on the ...

How Did That Canadian Pharmacy Medicine Get To Me?

How Did That Canadian Web Pharmacy Medicine Get to Me? So called "Canadian" online pharmacies pretend to sell non-Canadians price-controlled medications for citizens. Evidence collected by the U.S. Food and Drug Administration questions their claim. In 2011, counterfeit cancer medication, Avastin, was found and tested by the FDA.  The lifesaving ...

Counterfeit vs. Substandard Drugs

What Are Counterfeit Drugs? Counterfeit drugs are fake medicines intentionally made by unknown manufacturers who hide their identity. These drugs do not meet established standards of quality. Counterfeit drugs deceive consumers by closely resembling the looks of a genuine drug. They are made without approval of the regulator, such as the U.S. Food ...

A Risky Proposition: Opening the US to Foreign Medicines Will Put American Children at Heightened Risk

A Risky Proposition: Opening the US to Foreign Medicines Will Put American Children at Heightened Risk In 2011, the Partnership for Safe Medicines (PSM) released a report detailing the dangers posed to American children if the secure and safe U.S. medical supply chain is opened to foreign drugs through importation.  PSM’s latest ...