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FDA to Doctors: Beware of Counterfeit Prescription Drugs

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The U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) has warned doctors to be vigilant when purchasing medications as the number of rogue wholesale distributors selling unapproved prescription drugs continues to grow.

The agency issued a statement that said the problem is so widespread that it has started a program to educate physicians and other healthcare providers and administrators about how to properly purchase medications to ensure their quality and safety. The program is intended to shield patients from taking potentially harmful counterfeit drugs, according to

The “Know Your Source” program urges healthcare professionals to only purchase medications from established, reliable wholesale drug distributors licensed in their states. The FDA said in the statement that doctors should beware of too-good-to-be-true offers and to question aggressive marketing tactics and large discounts on prescription drugs. Such offers could be signs that the medicines are stolen, counterfeit, substandard or unapproved, reported.

The FDA said that doctors should verify that they are only receiving approved drugs, as unapproved products may contain unknown or dangerous ingredients. Such products also may not have been made, transported or stored under proper conditions, according to

Earlier this month, the U.S. Department of Justice reopened a case against a Madison, Wisconsin, pharmacist who faced charges in 2010 for illegally importing and selling counterfeit medications before the case was dismissed. Marla Ahlgrimm, former owner of Women’s Health America, was arraigned September 12 before a federal magistrate in Central Islip, New York, as was her accomplice, Balbir Bhogal. Ahlgrimm and Bhogal were charged with arranging for the manufacture and distribution of counterfeit prescription drugs, reported.

Following tips from two confidential informants, law enforcement officials intercepted shipments and discovered pills containing either a lower dosage of the intended medication or none at all. The pills were manufactured in India and shipped throughout the U.S. via an online pharmacy based in Costa Rica. Ahlgrimm and Bhogal allegedly arranged for the manufacture and importation of millions of tablets of controlled substances. Neither have importers’ licenses from the U.S. Drug Enforcement Administration. According to prosecutors, the online pharmacy had call centers and websites based outside the U.S. but filled bottles orders for within the U.S. individuals not licensed as pharmacists to bottle, label and distribute the pills, reported. disclaimer: This article: FDA to Doctors: Beware of Counterfeit Prescription Drugs was posted on Thursday, September 25th, 2014 at 2:25 pm at and is filed under Misleading Information Lawsuits.

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