JIS News

Story Highlights

  • The public is being warned to be vigilant when purchasing pharmaceuticals
  • The Commissioner warned the public about consuming these counterfeit products
  • One of the main indicators of counterfeit products is the price

The public is being warned to be vigilant when purchasing pharmaceuticals, particularly sexual performance enhancers.

This comes following the recent seizure of counterfeit pharmaceutical products by the Jamaica Custom Agency (JCA).

Speaking  during a media briefing on Thursday, September 19, at the JCA’s headquarters in Kingston, Commissioner of Customs, Major (ret’d) Richard Reese, noted that these illicit products, which include popular sex enhancers and erectile dysfunction treatments such as Viagra, were among a number of merchandise seized during a joint operation with the Jamaica Constabulary Force (JCF).

“The JCA in association with the JCF has initiated a series of interdiction operations in support of Trade and Intellectual Property Rights and we have been targeting illicit cigarettes, pharmaceuticals and general merchandise, and also we will be focusing on appliances,” he said.

The Commissioner warned the public about consuming these counterfeit products, which he said, can be detrimental to one’s health.

“We want to make the public aware that using these products are harmful…you have situations where the use of these preparations can be fatal because of their composition,” he said.

“So, it is a very serious matter and persons don’t recognise the importance of the role of the Ministry of the Agriculture (and Fisheries), the role of Customs, the Ministry of Health and the Bureau of Standards in ensuring that the products that are imported are compliant and it is really for our health and safety,” he said.

The Commissioner advised that one of the main indicators of counterfeit products is the price, noting that if the cost seems too good to be true, then it most likely is.

“In terms of general merchandise, in situations where defects occur, the consumer will have no recourse because there is no warranty afforded these products. And usually when they are purchased, they don’t really last as long as the genuine product,” he said.

Anyone having information on counterfeit goods can call Crime Stop at 311 or 1-888-991-4000 or they can email Jamaica Customs at quick.response@jacustoms.gov.jm.