Bogus Pregnancy and HIV Tests

August 18, 2007 · Print This Article · Email This Post

OneTouch Diabetes Test StripIn yet more bad news from China and in a quickening pace which reminds us of some sort of economic and psychological warfare, word came this week that the fake “OneTouch Test Strip” devices for diabetics, which surfaced last September and were supposedly manufactured by Johnson & Johnson, have been definitively traced to their real place of manufacture: China. It’s estimated that 10 million Americans and Canadians use the test strip to measure their blood sugar levels. The fake strips were found in at least 35 states and numerous countries.


The bogus strips were discovered when consumers complained to Johnson & Johnson about inaccurate test results. The lot numbers on the boxes didn’t match Johnson & Johnson’s code, and the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) issued a consumer alert at the time, without disclosing the Chinese link. Diabetics use the test strips to monitor blood sugar levels and the amount of insulin needed. Using the wrong amount of insulin can lead to unpleasant experiences — such as a diabetic coma or death. Counterfeiters see an easy target, in that the strips sell for about $1.00 each and a month’s supply can cost as much as $200.

Bogus Pregnancy and HIV Tests!

Now for the rest of the bad news. The bogus diabetes test strips were finally traced to Henry Fu of Shanghai, who’s now in jail there awaiting trial on related charges. Operating as Halson Pharmaceutical of Shanghai, Mr. Fu placed alarming ads in B2B (business-to-business) online directories. We’ve left his constant capitalizations and misshapen grammar intact: those elements alone should have been enough to raise an eyebrow or two. In one directory, Fu said: “We can supply Pregnancy Test Strip, HIV Test Kits, Glucose Test Strip, Uric Test Strip, and Glucose test strip in urine, HCG, HCV, HIV, HCG, one step LH test strips, HBsAg and Blood Glucose meter. Thanks and Best regards. Henry Fu” How would you like to use a fake pregnancy test strip, or a fake HIV test?

Bogus Surgical Supplies!

Surgery, Hopefully Performed with Legitimate Surgical SuppliesAnother online listing in a spammy business directory finds him offering surgical supplies as well: “We can supply Dialyzer, Bloodline, Fistula needles, Blood Collection Tubes, Spinal Needles, Lumen Catheter, I. V Cannula, Arterial Cannula, Central Venous Catheter, Hemodialysis Catheter, Blood Bags. Tracheal Tube, Hamonetics, Sucture Cat Cut, Surgical Blade, Three or Two Way Stop Cock, Suction Catheter, Oxygen Mask, Nasal Oxygen Cannula, Syringe, I. V. Set, Scalp Vein Sets, Blood Transfusion Set, Surgical Glove, Urine Drainage Bags, Vaginal Speculum. Anesthesia Kits, Pregnancy Test Strip, HIV Test Strip, Glucose Test Strip, Bulb Irrigation Syringe, Connection Tube and Thermometer.”

We’re not sure how consumers are supposed to protect themselves from bogus surgical supplies, but do buy your meds from a reputable company. Buying at a cut-rate, discount price increases the odds that you’ll get gray market, bogus pharmaceuticals. According to Peter Pitts, a former FDA official who investigated fake pharmaceuticals, “Growth in counterfeit medicines and devices is probably the biggest health threat besides infectious disease.” Pitts is now the director of the Center for Medicines in the Public Interest in New York. The World Health Organization estimates that counterfeit medicines are a $32 billion a year global business.

We think that Americans are getting very angry about the constant barrage of defective and/or outright dangerous products offered in our stores. Stop buying Chinese crap goods!

Read more consumer protection news about defective Chinese products.

Photo credit: Wake Forest University Baptist Medical Center

Copyright © 2007


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