$3.6 million in fake prescription drugs seized

Authorities on Friday announced the seizure of $3.6 million worth of counterfeit drugs, including fake Viagra, at a Columbia warehouse.

Some $3.6 million in bogus pharmaceuticals shipped from India, including Viagra, Cialis and Proscar, were seized at a Columbia warehouse, officials said Friday.

Investigators also confiscated more than $290,000 in counterfeit and pirated goods shipped from China infringing on trademarked brands such as Coach, Prada, Ray Ban, Golf Pride and Taylor Made.

“Counterfeit merchandise is a lose-lose situation, harming those retailers who play by the rules and cheating consumers out of the quality product they need or deserve,” said S.C. Secretary of State Mark Hammond.

“Fake medicine takes this harm to another level because it can literally kill,” he said.

Special agents with the U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement’s Homeland Security Investigations worked with the Secretary of State Office’s, Blazer Investigations and Pfizer to seize the fake goods, officials said.

The two-week operation ran through Feb. 19.

“The illegal importation and sale of counterfeit goods is a significant problem that affects our economy, impacts American jobs and innovation, puts the public’s health and safety at risk, and at times, threatens our national security,” said Brock D. Nicholson, special-agent-in-charge for Homeland Security Investigations’ Atlanta office.

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