6,780 Unapproved Viagra & Cialis Pills Seized by Louisville CBP

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LOUISVILLE, Ky—On Tuesday, September 21, U.S. Customs and Border Protection (CBP) officers in Louisville seized a shipment containing 4,780 unapproved Viagra pills and 2,000 unapproved Cialis pills. The shipment was arriving from Hong Kong and headed to in an individual in Montreal, Quebec Canada. If genuine, and approved by the FDA, the pills would have had an estimated manufacturer’s suggested retail price (MSRP) of more than $460,000.

The Food and Drug Administration (FDA) regulates pharmaceuticals that contain an active pharmaceutical ingredient. Because only three percent of online pharmacies reviewed by the National Association of Boards of Pharmacy are in compliance with U.S. pharmacy laws and practice standards, purchasing controlled substances through online vendors is risky not only for the consumer’s health, but also their wallet.

“Our officers are dedicated to identifying and intercepting these types of shipments that could potentially harm our communities,” said LaFonda Sutton-Burke, Director, Field Operation, Chicago Field Office. “Consumers do not realize the risk they are taking when using prescription drugs from other countries. These non-regulated drugs could cause health concerns or even death.”

E-commerce has expanded foreign sellers’ market access to the United States. However, these sellers may not have all pertinent information to comply with U.S. admissibility law. As buying habits change and more products are purchased online, it is critical for consumers to be aware of the dangers and complications involved in ordering products such as medication through online sellers. These medications can be improperly produced without pharmacological specifications and safeguards that ensure the protection of human health. Prescription medications manufactured in non-regulated foreign companies often contain dangerous contaminants or ineffective compounds, and though their packaging and labelling can be similar to genuine products, inconsistent ingredients and sub-par quality controls can endanger the consumer.

“CBP works closely with FDA and other partner agencies to effect this mission and make sure controlled substances with unknown additives or inferior standards do not make their way into American households,” said Louisville Port Director Thomas Mahn.


The FDA recommends that consumers talk to their health care professional about their condition and consider buying prescription medications from state-licensed pharmacies in the U.S.

CBP conducts operations at ports of entry throughout the United States, and regularly screens arriving international passengers and cargo for narcotics, weapons, and other restricted or prohibited products. CBP strives to serve as the premier law enforcement agency enhancing the Nation’s safety, security, and prosperity through collaboration, innovation, and integration.

Follow CBP on Twitter @CBPChicago and @DFOChicago.

U.S. Customs and Border Protection is the unified border agency within the Department of Homeland Security charged with the management, control and protection of our nation’s borders at and between official ports of entry. CBP is charged with securing the borders of the United States while enforcing hundreds of laws and facilitating lawful trade and travel.