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Passenger Arrives with 3,200 Viagra Pills for his Friends

Release Date: 
February 5, 2021

CHICAGO–Passengers arriving or returning to the U.S. are asked to declare any items they may have purchased during their travels. Yesterday, February 4, at Chicago O’Hare International Airport a passenger returning from his trip to India was asked by U.S. Customs and Border Protections officers about all articles he was bringing back to the United States, particularly his eight boxes of pills. Overview

During a baggage exam officers found the passenger was in possession of 3,200 Sildenafil Citrate tablets (100 mg). When the traveler was asked why he was in possession of the pills he stated they were for his friends and they are considered over the counter medication in India.

The nine pounds of pills were seized for unlawful importation of mediation. The pills have an estimated manufacturer’s suggested retail price (MSRP) of approximately $96,608. As a general rule, the FDA does not allow the importation of prescription drugs that were purchased outside the United States. Additional information about traveling with and importing medication can be found at the FDA's Drugs page.

Prescription medications manufactured in non-regulated foreign companies often contain dangerous contaminants or ineffective compounds, and though their packaging and labelling can be similar to genuine products, inconsistent ingredients and sub-par quality controls can endanger the consumer.

“Our inspecting officers have the daunting tasks of inspecting items passengers are trying to bring into the U.S.,” said Shane Campbell, Area Port Director-Chicago. “Some passengers try to hide some of their items from our officers, which could prove to be a dangerous. In this instance, our officers found these pills and prevented them from entering the U.S. and harming our community.”

The U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) recommends that consumers talk to their health care professional about their condition and consider buying prescription medications from state-licensed pharmacies in the U.S.

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.

Follow CBP on Twitter @CBPChicago and @DFOChicago.

Last modified: 
February 5, 2021