Counterfeit Drugs Harm Real People

We're Collecting Their Stories

Protecting the safety of America's drug supply is about protecting human life. When we compromise the security of America's drug supply, we endanger patients. Sometimes people forget that these policy debates affect real people, but we at PSM never do.

Below you will find the stories of patients and family members that have been victims of a weakened drug supply chain. 
 Note: The patients and family members who appear on this page have not been compensated by PSM for appearing here.

Betty Hunter’s Death Illustrates Danger of Fake Drugs

February 2, 2017

Arizona resident Betty Hunter died of lung cancer, but how much longer would she have lived if her oncologist had not treated her with counterfeit Avastin? A recent Danish documentary tells the tragic story of Arizona grandmother Betty Hunter, who in 2011 sought treatment for her lung cancer at an oncology clinic in Chandler Arizona.…

Drugs purchased from a legitimate-looking online pharmacy killed an American ExPat

January 29, 2013

Marcia Bergeron died in British Columbia in December 2006 from heavy metal poisoning caused by the prescription medications she had purchased from a fake online pharmacy. Friends and family were shocked, because Marcia’s health was robust, and she thought she was suffering from the common flu.

Excerpt of Maxine Blount's Obituary, St. Louis Post-Dispatch, October 28, 2002

Missouri Businesswoman Dies After Fake Anemia Drugs Delay Cancer Treatments

January 1, 2012

In March 2002, oncology nurses in Missouri at discovered that their patient, Maxine Blount, had been taking Procrit that was only one-twentieth the strength it should have been. The counterfeit did not treat her anemia, leading to delays between chemotherapy infusions that allowed her cancer to advance much more rapidly. She died in October 2002.

In 2005, her brother testified before Congress: if her drugs had been genuine “she would have lived longer…experienced much less pain and suffering, and have been able to spend more time with her family.”

PSM works with families who want to get the word out about the danger of fake medicines.

If you would like a family advocate to speak in your community, please email editors@safemedicines.org.

Take Action!

Write your Senator to get fentanyl analogues scheduled as controlled substances.

Tweet the AP: Ask them to call fentanyl pill deaths poisonings.

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Read Counterfeit Drug News That Mentions Patient Harm:

Fentanyl Pill Victims Are Getting Younger. Parents Blame Snapchat.

June 14, 2021

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

March 4, 2021

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

January 13, 2021

Team player Taylor Martinek lost his life to a fake oxycodone

January 7, 2021
Young man in a black shirt in a green outdoor setting

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

November 6, 2020

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

March 18, 2020

4-Year-Old Girl Died in September After Swallowing a Fentanyl-Laced Pill. Now Her Caregiver Has Been Charged in Her Death

January 14, 2020

Man Sentenced To Over A Decade In Jail For Selling The Counterfeit Pill That Killed Jaydon Rogers

October 21, 2019

Multiple California Counties Warn Parents About Deadly Fake Pills After the Deaths of Two Teens in Santa Clara County

October 17, 2019

Ophthalmologist in Florida Investigated for Using Counterfeit Botox on Patients

October 2, 2019

Deaths from Counterfeit Pills in Alaska, California, and Washington

September 23, 2019

Idaho Doctor Admits Putting Counterfeit Breast Implants from China in Nine Patients

September 19, 2019

San Diego is in the Midst of a Deadly Counterfeit Pill Crisis, with 50 Confirmed Deaths Thus Far

August 6, 2019

Man Charged With Selling Fentanyl Pills That Killed Murray, Utah Woman

July 24, 2019

Peer-reviewed journal article estimates 300,000 child fatalities annually due to counterfeit medication

June 16, 2019