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200 Syringes Filled with Unapproved Drugs Seized for Violating FDA Compliance

Release Date: 
October 16, 2020

CHICAGO–U.S. Customs and Border Protection officers at the Chicago International Mail Facility seized a shipment that was filled with pre-filled syringes containing foreign unapproved drugs that violated FDA laws and could prove dangerousSyringes.

Last night, October 15, CBP officers inspected a shipment to determine the admissibility of the parcel and contents. Upon exam of the box, it was found to contain 200 Sodium Hyaluronate prefilled syringes. Sodium Hyaluronate is used to treat osteoarthritis, however this shipment was arriving from Seoul, South Korea and violated the Federal Food, Drug, and Cosmetic Act (FDCA), which prohibits the introduction of any food, drug, device, tobacco product, or cosmetic that is adulterated or misbranded. These syringes were seized and turned over to the FDA Office of Criminal Investigation for further investigation.

The shipment was destined for a corporation in Chicago, and the total weight of the syringes was more than 20 pounds. If the syringes were approved by the FDA, the domestic value would have been $10,666.

“The market for these types of unapproved medications are common seizures our officers see nightly,” said Hans Leiterman, Assistant Port Director-Chicago. “Customs and Border Protection officers will continue to work with the trade industry and our consumer safety partners to intercept illicit and potentially dangerous products at our nation’s ports of entry.”

Unapproved prescriptions may be manufactured using incorrect or harmful ingredients. This medicine is then packaged and labeled to look like the real thing. Counterfeit medicines are unsafe because they may not work and could be harmful.

 CBP provides basic import information about admissibility requirements and the clearance process for e-commerce goods and encourages buyers to confirm that their purchases and the importation of those purchases comply with any state and federal import regulations.

 CBP conducts operations at ports of entry throughout the United States, and regularly screens arriving international passengers and cargo for narcotics, weapons, and other restricted or prohibited products. CBP strives to serve as the premier law enforcement agency enhancing the Nation’s safety, security, and prosperity through collaboration, innovation, and integration.


Last modified: 
October 16, 2020