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  4. 15,000 Viagra Pills Worth Over $1 Million Seized by Louisville CBP

15,000 Viagra Pills Worth Over $1 Million Seized by Louisville CBP

Release Date
Thu, 03/02/2023

LOUISVILLE, Ky.—Last night, Louisville Customs and Border Protection (CBP) officers intercepted 500 bottles of Viagra arriving from Hong Kong. Each bottle contained 30 100 milligram tablets, for a total of 15,000, pills. The shipment was heading to an individual in Brooklyn, NY. If genuine, the pills would have had an estimated manufacturer’s suggested retail price (MSRP) of $1.06 million.

Viagra

The bottles had labels stating they were made in the USA, but those claims are suspect as the pills were being imported from an industrial company in Hong Kong.

Medications purchased from online sources can be improperly produced without pharmacological specifications and safeguards that ensure the protection of human health. Prescription medications manufactured in non-regulated foreign companies often contain dangerous contaminants or ineffective compounds, and though their packaging and labelling can be like genuine products, inconsistent ingredients and sub-par quality controls can endanger the consumer.

“This is a dangerous game consumers are playing that could have disastrous results,” said LaFonda D. Sutton-Burke, Director, Field Operations-Chicago Field Office. “Consumers are purchasing these prescription medications from other countries thinking they are getting them at a discount, when in fact they are purchasing an inferior product with unregulated ingredients.”

The U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) protects the public health by working to secure the drug supply chain against counterfeit and unapproved medications that enter the United States through fraudulent sources. The FDA recommends that consumers talk to their health care professional who is able to identify appropriate therapies for patients and monitor for potential side effects and consider buying prescription medications from state-licensed pharmacies in the U.S. Additionally, only three percent of online pharmacies reviewed by the National Association of Boards of Pharmacy are in compliance with U.S. pharmacy laws and practice standards, purchasing drugs online is risky not only for the consumer’s health, but also their wallet.

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

E-commerce trade soared during the pandemic, expanding foreign sellers’ market access to the United States. However, these sellers may not have all pertinent information to comply with U.S. admissibility laws, and drugs made in foreign facilities may lack necessary oversight and good manufacturing practices ensuring patient safety. Prescription drugs sold in the U.S. must conform to the FDA’s high standards, protecting consumers from dangerous irregularities in drug potency.

As the largest federal law enforcement agency in the United States, CBP has a vast, complex, and dynamic mission faced with constantly changing threats. By being continuously watchful and alert, CBP is dedicated to facilitating lawful trade and travel and protecting the homeland and its people.

Follow CBP on Twitter @CBPChicago and @DFOChicago.

Last Modified: Mar 07, 2023