Erectile dysfunction pills, such as Viagra and Cialis, are big profit makers for pharmaceutical companies. It comes as no surprise that con artists and scammers have created a profitable niche in the knock-off erectile dysfunction, or ED, pill market.
For one North Carolina man, that profitable scam resulted in jail time and a hefty fine.
Awni Shauaib Zayyad, 56, was caught selling over 1200 fake Viagra and Cialis pills over the summer of 2010. He was sentenced last month to two years in federal prison and to pay a $10,000 fine.
The fakes were designed to appear identical to the trademarked pills. The pills were said to contain some of the pharmaceutical ingredients found in the prescription medication. The exact ingredients and amounts were undetermined and untested, posing a health risk to anyone who purchased fake pills from Zayyad.
Counterfeit pills have become a problem in the United States as health care costs soar. The Internet has given rise to countless websites in other nations proclaiming to sell name-brand medication at huge discounts. In many cases, these pills turn out to be fake, causing health risks to the individual.
Authorities recommend only purchasing prescription medication from a licensed pharmacy in the United States to ensure safety.
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