ILLEGAL PHARMACEUTICALS: Swap Meet Raid Uncovers Thriving Trade
Investigators seized more than 460 prescription medications, from penicillin to oral contraceptives to skin creams, at a Costa Mesa swap meet Saturday, slapping misdemeanor charges on six vendors, the Orange County Register reports. The undercover squad, composed of Costa Mesa and Santa Ana officers, district attorney investigators and state health officials, purchased prescription drugs from five booths during two hours of strolling through the swap meet, and then donned their badges to raid the vendors. "(They'll sell) everything from birth control to steroids because it's legal in Mexico," Cost Mesa police Lt. Ron Smith said, adding, "Unfortunately, they don't talk about the side effects. They're not doctors. They're swap meet vendors." The squad's efforts are a reflection of the crackdown on illegal pharmaceutical sales in Orange County following the deaths of two infants during the past 15 months who received illegally-imported medicines at "storefront clinics." The squad hopes their raid leads to bigger drug suppliers and informs vendors that "Cost Mesa is off-limits" for their trade (Collins, 6/13).This is part of the California Healthline Daily Edition, a summary of health policy coverage from major news organizations. Sign up for an email subscription.