Tuesday, January 7, 2014

I thought that the low-priced Channel Number 5 was too good to be true

The U.S. Federal Bureau of Investigation is charged to uphold the law. Back in October, I wrote about a case in which the FBI successfully prosecuted someone for "prescription fraud" - despite the fact that in this particular case, the "fraudulent" prescriptions were actually foreign equivalents to prescriptions legally sold in the United States. In that particular case, the patients were not harmed by taking the "fraudulent" prescriptions.

Well, the FBI is now going after fraudulent cosmetics.

The National Intellectual Property Rights (IPR) Center—of which the FBI is a partner—wants you to know that the volume of all sorts of counterfeit cosmetics and fragrances coming into the U.S. is definitely on the rise…that’s according to our industry partners as well as law enforcement. Why is this happening? Because the Internet has given counterfeiters widespread access to customers, and because criminals increasingly view dealing in counterfeit personal care products—as well as other knock-off consumer goods as well—as a relatively low-risk crime since many of the perpetrators are located outside of the U.S.

The FBI then warns that counterfeit cosmetics can often contain dangerous ingredients, such as arsenic, "dangerous levels of bacteria," and other bad stuff.

Is this the same issue as fraudulent prescriptions, or is it different?

I suspect that this is a different situation.

Due to the intricacies of various health care markets around the world, prescription manufacturers routinely price drugs sold in the U.S. at a higher price than drugs sold in other countries. Therefore, there is an incentive to illegally import LEGITIMATE prescriptions from other countries to the United States.

Unless I'm missing something, there is no such incentive in the cosmetics market. It isn't like U.S. consumers are paying higher prices for perfume than people in France. Therefore, the money in this case can be made by providing cosmetics that are NOT equivalent to those sold legally in the U.S.

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