60 Minutes; Dangerous Counterfeit Prescription Drugs

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The fight against counterfeit drugs
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March 13, 2011 5:00 PM
60 Minutes' nine-month investigation of counterfeit prescription drugs reveals how the dangerous and sometimes deadly fakes get into the nation's drug pipeline. Dr. Sanjay Gupta reports.
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(CBS News)
There is a new front in the war on drugs, and it's not the kind of drugs you might think. We're not talking about cocaine, heroin or methamphetamines. This is about drugs that could wind up in your medicine cabinet: counterfeit prescription drugs, made with cheaper - sometimes even dangerous - ingredients such as highway paint, floor wax, and boric acid.
Criminal counterfeiters will go to any length to evade detection. We found a shadowy network of criminals with made-up names, constantly changing locations and lots and lots of money: an estimated $75 billion a year.

"60 Minutes" and CNN's Dr. Sanjay Gupta got the chance to observe a surprise early morning raid in Lima, Peru. Some 200 police in riot gear stormed an indoor market. Their target: counterfeit prescription drugs. And they found them everywhere.

There were crude packaging machines and silk screens with imprints of actual name-brand drugs. Hundreds of thousands of counterfeit medicines collected from that raid were traced back to a house. Through a back door and down a narrow hallway we found a tiny, squalid patio that was actually a fake drug factory, turning out an astonishing number of counterfeit medications...
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