CBP Cincinnati seizes $757,000 worth of Viagra, Cialis, Levitra

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CINCINNATI—Since January 1, US Customs and Border Protection (CBP) officers have seized 21 shipments of improperly imported Viagra, Cialis and Levitra transiting through the port of Cincinnati. Officers found approximately 32,556 prescription drug pills in shipments of vitamins, supplements, watches and other drugs. The shipments also contained 1,050 packets of jellies and honey…”miraculous honey“- mixed with sildenafil, the active ingredient in Viagra.

CBP officers in Cincinnati seized more than 32,000 pills from
improperly imported erectile dysfunction drugs
during January

Originating in China, India, Malaysia or Sudan, the drugs were intended for people in nine states, including Indiana and Kentucky. If they had been legally sold, the pills, jellies and honey would have been worth nearly $757,000.

The Food and Drug Administration (FDA) works with CBP to protect consumers from products marketed as dietary supplements that contain hidden drug ingredients. Because only three percent of online pharmacies reviewed by the National Association of Boards of Pharmacy comply with US pharmacy laws and standards of practice, buying drugs online is risky not only to the health of the consumer, but also to their wallet .

“The FDA is concerned about the illegal importation of prescription drugs because these drugs can pose a significant risk to patients. Like products seized by our partners at CBP, these products are not always produced under good manufacturing practices,” said Assistant Commissioner for Import Operations Dan Solis. “Prescription drugs should only be used under the supervision of a licensed healthcare professional who can identify appropriate therapies for patients and monitor for potential side effects. Our strong relationship with CBP enables this type of work. and outcomes that best apply each agency’s authority and enforcement tools and protect consumers from potentially unsafe medical products entering the United States.

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

E-commerce has soared throughout the pandemic, expanding foreign sellers’ access to the US market. However, these vendors may not have all of the relevant information to comply with US eligibility laws, and drugs manufactured in foreign facilities may lack the necessary oversight and good manufacturing practices to ensure patient safety. Prescription drugs sold in the United States must meet high FDA standards, protecting consumers from dangerous irregularities in drug potency.

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

As the largest federal law enforcement agency in the United States, CBP has a large, complex, and dynamic mission in the face of ever-changing threats. By being continually vigilant and alert, CBP is dedicated to facilitating lawful commerce and travel and protecting the homeland and its people.

Follow CBP on Twitter @CBPChicago and @MPOChicago.

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