August 13, 2022

Customs intercepts 21 shipments of prescription drugs | News

ERLANGER, Ky. (KT) — Since Jan. 1, U.S. Customs and Border Protection officials have seized 21 shipments of improperly imported Viagra, Cialis and Levitra transiting through the Port of Cincinnati, located in Erlanger, near Cincinnati/Northern Kentucky Airport.

Officers found approximately 32,556 prescription drug pills in shipments of vitamins, supplements, watches and other drugs. The shipments also contained 1,050 packets of jellies and the so-called “miracle honey”, which contains sildenafil, the active ingredient in Viagra.

Originating in China, India, Malaysia or Sudan, the drugs were intended for people in nine states, including Kentucky and Indiana. If they had been legally sold, the pills, jellies and honey would have been worth nearly $757,000, according to CBP.

The Food and Drug Administration works with CBP to protect consumers from products marketed as dietary supplements that contain hidden drug ingredients. Since only 3% of online pharmacies reviewed by the National Association of Boards of Pharmacy comply with U.S. pharmacy laws and standards of practice, buying drugs online is risky not only to consumer health , but also for his wallet.

“The FDA is concerned about the illegal importation of prescription drugs because these drugs can pose a significant risk to patients. Like products seized by our partners at CBP, these products are not always produced under good manufacturing practices,” said Assistant Commissioner for Import Operations Dan Solis.

He noted that prescription drugs should only be used under the supervision of a licensed medical professional who can identify appropriate therapies for patients and monitor potential side effects. “Our close relationship with CBP enables this kind of collaborative work and results that best apply each agency’s authority and enforcement tools and protect consumers from potentially dangerous medical products entering the United States”

E-commerce has exploded during the pandemic, expanding foreign sellers’ access to the US market. But, according to CBP, drugs made in foreign facilities may lack the necessary oversight and good manufacturing practices to ensure patient safety. Prescription drugs sold in the United States must meet FDA standards, protecting consumers from dangerous irregularities in drug potency.

“CBP will continue to investigate and take action against counterfeit and misclassified goods that pose a threat to our economy and our citizens,” said Port of Cincinnati Director Richard Gillespie. “We work closely with the FDA and other partner government agencies to provide comprehensive border enforcement in support of national security.”

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