MANILA, Philippines – The National Bureau Investigation (NBI) on Wednesday seized boxes of counterfeit medicine sold illegally in drugstores along Binondo and Ongpin in Manila.
The NBI conducted a raid in 168 Mall following a complaint from pharmaceutical company Pfizer that fake MagnaRX tablets from China are being sold in the area.
MagnaRX is a drug for erectile dysfunction similar to Viagra.
However, boxes of MagnaRX being sold in Man Fah Chinese drugstore in 168 Mall contained Viagra pills.
“Two different brands, one product,” said Pfizer consultant Maximo Ocampo.
NBI agents also raided a warehouse in Alvarado St. in Binondo where the fake pills are being stored.
Authorities did not find MagnaRX pills but discovered other Chinese pills used for skin whitening, weight loss and sex enhancement pills.
They said the Binondo warehouse is where the bottles are labeled and repacked before they are shipped to the drugstores.
The US Homeland Security also monitored the operation because Pfizer is an American brand.
“Malaking part ng income sa pag-smuggle ng counterfeit products ay napupunta sa pag-finance ng terrorist groups, so naka-monitor sila ng husto diyan,” said Rommel Vallejo, chief of NBI’s Intellectual Property Rights Division.
The store owners caught selling the fake medicine will face charges of trademark infringement and violating regulations of the Food and Drugs Administration. -- Report from Maan Macapagal, ABS-CBN News