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Officials Seize 10 Tons of Fake Meds

Fake medications often cross borders, but few shipments are as big as the one found in France.

Fake medications often cross borders, but few shipments are as big as the one found in France.

French customs uncovered a huge shipment of fake drugs that came from China. How huge? Officials found 10 tons or counterfeit pills. The pills were fake aspirin, erectile dysfunction medications, and diarrhea drugs. The entire shipment is valued at $1.38 million.

A rare find Most counterfeit pills are sent in small, nondescript packages to avoid suspicion. This package was anything but small and set off warning bells off immediately. The meds were inside two large crates that were declared as Chinese tea. In all, there were 2.4 million pills.

The stash was the biggest ever seizure made by the European Union. Fake meds were tested The customs officials had the medications tested and found the aspirin was actually made of sugar. The erectile dysfunction medications did contain the active ingredient used in Viagra, but not in correct doses. Problems in the U.S.

Fake medications can be made of various, harmful ingredients.

Fake medications can be made of various, harmful ingredients.

Foreign customs officials aren’t the only ones dealing with fake medications. It’s estimated that 5 percent of the mail coming into the U.S. contains something illegal. While most people assume drugs like marijuana and cocaine are the biggest problem, customs agents say otherwise. An increasing amount of fake pharmaceuticals, meant to mimic legal American drugs like Viagra and Cialis, are the biggest problem.

Officials believe more needs to be done to stop the inflow of fake medications to the U.S. “We need better law enforcement to detect and prosecute all those who make, package, market or transport fake drugs,” Lawrence Gostin, a professor at Georgetown University Law Center and an authority on illegal drugs said. “Currently, law enforcement is poor.

The penalties are usually very low. Police also often give this area a low priority. Finally, it is a transnational problem, so we need a treaty or some other international agreement to strengthen law enforcement and customs controls.”

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