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Investigation Unit: Counterfeit Viagra Pills

New numbers show the demand for sexual therapy drugs has skyrocketed over the past couple of years and as a result so has the number of counterfeit pills.
This dirty, disgusting warehouse, with fungus growing on the wall is where investigators busted counterfeiters making fake Viagra in China.

It's just one of a series of raids all over the world that uncovered counterfeit pill making operations.

In Ecuador, boric acid was one of the pill ingredients. In Montreal, commercial grade wall paint was used to give pills color. In Columbia, pills were made using sheet rock and rat poison. And in Hungary, they contained speed.

"If you're taking a pill that has rat poison, lead, boric acid you could become potentially very ill from that, and possibly even have a fatal complication," said urologist Dr. Jed Kaminetsky.

The real pills help treat erectile dysfunction but the fakes won't help anyone.

U.S. customs is seizing counterfeits through the mail and package carriers, even finding some hidden in door bells. 

Feds are stepping up enforcement as it became more common in 2010, agents nabbed about 330 shipments of fake drugs.

So far this year the number stands at 1200.

Therese Randazzo from U.S. Customs and Border Protection said, "A lot of these drugs are ordered over the internet from what appear to be legitimate pharmacies and are shipped directly to the patients by the counterfeiters."

Can you tell which Viagra tablets here are real? The ones on the right are authentic, the fakes are on the left. Sometimes knock-offs look so convincing, even drug companies have to take a closer look.
  
Patrick Ford of Pfizer Global Security said, "We can't tell quite often until we get it into our lab and we test is chemically."

When investigators from Pfizer, the maker of Viagra, actually ordered their popular "little blue pill" from 26 online pharmacies, 81 percent of the pills turned out to be counterfeit.

"The counterfeiter is, nobody looking to see how he's making his product," said Ford.

And that's why counterfeit pills like these, are so dangerous, and now drug companies are fighting back, on the front lines of drug raids, aggressively pursuing counterfeiters and taking legal action.

Experts say not all online pharmacies deserve a bad rap.

Just make sure you buy from a website that has this blue oval "Vipps" seal of approval on it and confirm that it's on The National Association Boards of Pharmacy List of Approved Pharmacies.

Carmen Catizone, executive director of The National Association of Boards of Pharmacy said, "They just have to be careful they have to do some research and they have to make sure that when they're ordering medications that it's a legitimate and legal pharmacy."

If you think you may have purchased counterfeit medication contact the company that makes the drug you intended to order.

It may test the pills for you, and contact your doctor and report it to the us food and drug administration.

Click here for a link to The National Association of Boards of Pharmacy.
Click here for a link to the FDA.
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