Fake Viagra hits market, fears over Lamar Odom's condition.

A BLACK market for counterfeit erectile dysfunction pills has reportedly emerged in Australia with outlaw bikie gangs allegedly responsible for manufacturing and selling the potentially lethal products.
Sales for the over-the-counter penile potions are reportedly booming in some of Australia’s sex shops but medical authorities are warning the drugs can kill.
Fairfax reported that police in Victoria, Queensland and New South Wales have received intelligence suggesting organised crime and outlaw motorcycle gangs are trafficking both fake erectile products and counterfeit weight-loss medicines, which also contain dangerous chemicals.
Queensland police told news.com.au the claims weren’t true, while NSW police refused to comment on the issue. Victoria police said it was “not routine for us to comment on received intelligence”.
Since 2014, the Therapeutic Goods Administration has seized more than 40 different counterfeit erectile medications from adult shops, according to Fairfax.
Laboratory tests have found the erectile drugs contain prescription-only substances Sildenafil and Tadalafil.
Viagra — a registered erectile dysfunction medication — is available only with a prescription and can be costly compared to the generic and counterfeit brands.
Viagra pills made by Pfizer.
Viagra pills made by Pfizer.Source:News Limited
The pills, called “Black King Kong”, “Man Up Now”, “Stallion Pro” and “African Superman”, can cause serious health problems, including death, according to health authorities.
A TGA spokesman told news.com.au the department “receives many referrals about the import and supply of these types of medicines”.
“The TGA actions all reports which are dealt within a risk-based framework that can range from a simple education and warning letter to posting information on the TGA website about counterfeit products in the form of safety alerts,” the spokesman said.
“Goods can be seized under the provisions of the Customs Act 1901 and, in the appropriate circumstances, the goods can be seized by the TGA with a view to investigation, which may lead to a referral to the Commonwealth Director of Prosecutions (CDPP).”
Though the TGA is aware of the identity of a vast number of counterfeit medicine importers, the Commonwealth Director of Public Prosecutions has prosecuted just four people since 2013 for importing and supplying unapproved erectile or weight loss products, according to Fairfax.
Those convicted received fines of up to $4000 and two were placed on good behaviour bonds.
The use of Australia’s postal system has been identified as a popular method of importing the counterfeit products, with offenders using false names, fake companies, long-term storage facilities and families and friends to bring in thousands of capsules at a time.
Chair of the Council of General Practice for the Australian Medical Association Dr Brian Morton said dodgy drug manufacturers were known to “cut the drugs with cyanide” — a highly poisonous chemical compound.
“The problem with counterfeit or unregistered medicine is you can’t be guaranteed of the purity or the strength of the tablets,” Dr Morton said.
“Anything registered in Australia as a medical product has to have the evidence to say it works and it’s safe and what the adverse reactions are.
“There have been examples of counterfeit medication coming onto the market cut with dangerous things like cyanide.
“To produce the tablet and extract of things they sometimes use harmful products to release the chemical.
“That’s some of the issue with counterfeit stuff coming out of backyard labs or from India and China; you don’t know how they’ve actually been manufactured.”
Dr Morton said erectile dysfunction drugs could be lethal, particularly when taken without a doctor’s advice or a medical prescription and when mixed with other medications.
But experts say even herbal Viagra pills, sold in Australian sex shops and on the internet can be dangerous and even fatal.
Lamar Odom is fighting for his life.
Lamar Odom is fighting for his life.Source:AP
The warnings come as American basketball star Lamar Odom fights for his life in a Nevada hospital after he allegedly took a cocktail of drugs, including crack cocaine and herbal erectile dysfunction pills, and was found unconscious on Tuesday in a Las Vegas brothel, known as the Love Ranch.
New Jersey-based internist Dr Nancy Simpkins said if Odom “was using any other recreational drugs, then the combination could be deadly”.
“If you are using herbal Viagra, which lowers your blood pressure, and you add in another toxic substance to the heart, the risk of a fatal arrhythmia goes up exponentially,” Dr Simpkins said.
For years, the herbal erectile medications have been in the cross hairs of the American Food and Drug Administration, which placed them on a database of tainted products in 2011.
As recently as Oct. 1, the FDA issued a consumer update to warn patients of the risk associated with “all natural” and “alternative” erectile dysfunction remedies. The agency said many of these products were simply “drug cocktails” laced with a number of pharmaceutical substances not normally taken together.
“There is no control over what is in these substances. It’s sold on the internet. None of these products go through clinical trials. Absolutely zero,” Dr Simpkins said.
For example, one tested product contained 31 times the prescription dose of tadalafil — the active ingredient in Cialis — and was combined with an antidepressant not approved by the FDA.
At the Love Ranch, Hof hawks Reload — which he calls an “erectile dysfunction supplement” — sold for $3 or $4 a pill.


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