Skip to content Skip to footer

Counterfeit Medication

Counterfeit medication has become such a major concern that even Danny Trejo (Machete, Bullet) got into the act by partnering with Safe.Pharmacy to record Bad Meds (Plus Company Updates, 2023). Their news release states that the World Health Organization (WHO) found four out of every ten counterfeit pills contain a potentially lethal dose of harmful ingredients and cause more than one million deaths annually. Safe.Pharmacy identifies convenience, cost and access as the most prevalent reasons that people shop for medication online, and criminals know it. They also state that 95% of the world’s 35,000 online pharmacies are operating illegally.

The National Association of Boards of Pharmacy (NABP) found that 9,938 of the online pharmacies operating in the U.S.A. did not adhere to NABP patient safety and pharmacy practice standards or U.S. state and federal laws (Pathak, Gaur, Sankrityayan & Gogtay, 2023). The NABD found the issues with counterfeit medication fell into four basic categories:

1. No active drug + no harmful substance
2. Excessive (concentrated) active drug
3. Wrong active drug
4. Drug contaminated with microbes, toxins and harmful chemicals

They are concerned that counterfeit medication will ultimately reduce the credibility of the medical health field and result in a lack of trust in their prescribing physician or pharmaceutical companies.

These issues are not isolated to human medicine. Caring Hands News (2022) found counterfeit veterinary medication in non-steroidal anti-inflammatory drugs, flea and tick prevention and heartworm prevention. These counterfeit products could be expired, contaminated, have variations [active ingredients], different ingredients, not be medication at all, or was stored
improperly, which can render the medication ineffective or result in dangerous side effects.

Counterfeit medication is not limited to unfamiliar websites. A client of Dr. Kathryn Primm (2015) brought a flea product to her clinic because the client was frustrated that the product did not work; it was counterfeit. The client bought the counterfeit product from a well-known online store. Dr. Findora had a similar situation at Fox Run and states that the packaging was
duplicated so well, even a side-by-side comparison took several minutes to discover the falsehood.

Graphic artists, such as Paul S. Rodriquez, Jr, the CEO of Action Packing and Design, create packaging that is almost imperceptible from the real thing. In 2016, Rodriquez pleaded guilty to intentionally trafficking in counterfeit labels and packaging of products manufactured by such companies as Zoetis and Merial (Welton, 2024). The U.S. Department of Justice (DOJ) warns consumers that fraud is a multi-billion-dollar industry in veterinary medications sold online,
while the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) tells us that a significant amount of pet medication comes from overseas where the quality and handling could render the product useless, or even dangerous.

Dr. Welton (2024) tells us, “For these reasons, most veterinary pharmaceutical companies as a general policy sell only to veterinarians and not pet medication retailers, who instead have to purchase their products through what is known as a ‘sideways sale’.”

Fox Run Animal Hospital has an online pharmacy where you can securely purchase legitimate products straight from the manufacturer and have them delivered directly to your home. Our mission statement at Fox Run is: YOUR PET’S HEALTH IS OUR TOP PRIORITY. We are accepting new patients and look forward to seeing you and your pet soon.

Fox Run Animal Hospital Logo

3390 S. Lapeer Road, Metamora, MI 48455

(810) 678-8738


Caring Hands News/Featured Home/Pet Care & Medicine (2020). Counterfeit Caution: Buying Pet medication Online. Counterfeit Caution: Buying Pet Medication Online ( June 9, 2024

Pathak, R., Gaur, V., Sankrityayan, H., and Gogtay, J. (2023). Tackling Counterfeit Drugs: The Challenges and Possibilities. Pharmaceutical Medicine.

Primm, K. (2015). Beware: Counterfeit Flea Preventatives Sold Online! Find Out How to Spot the Difference. @DrKathrynPrimm. Beware: Counterfeit Flea Preventatives Sold Online! Find Out How To Spot The Difference ( June 9, 2024

Right Vision Media (2023). Danny Trejo Stars in new PSA ‘Bad Meds’ to Combat Deadly Counterfeit Medicine and Drugs Sold Online. Plus Company Updates: Gale General OneFile. June 9, 2024

Welton, R. (2024). Beware of Counterfeit Veterinary Pet Medications Sold Online. Beware Of Counterfeit Veterinary Pet Medications Sold Online ( June 9, 2024