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Unread 01-02-2013, 08:30 PM   #1
Posts: 39
Default *WARNING* Counterfeit Suboxone Tabs (pills)

I would like to start this post with a disclaimer - I do NOT in any way support, or suggest, the illegal transfer of any medication at all. Sadly though, many people do obtain suboxone on the streets for any number of reasons.

I am from the Philadelphia area where Suboxone sales on the street have become a major problem. People are buying them to avoid high doctor fees, lack of insurance, doctors being maxed on patients and not offering treatment to New patients, or some even just using suboxone to "get by" for short periods of time until they can afford their DOC again. Pills currently go for $10-$15 each on the streets, and films reaching as high as $20 each in this area because the problem has exploded recently in popularity. I recommend that all people seek treatment through a doctor and legal prescriptions, but I just wanted to bring this issue, that I feel important, to light.

I have a very close friend who has been obtaining his suboxone through purchasing them on the streets for roughly 2-3 years. He is uninsured, denied free state insurance, and can not afford to pay the outrageous fees some doctors in the Philadelphia, PA charge because most doctors and clinics with reasonable fees are always at the maximum patient limit. Also, pharmacies in this area charge roughly $6-$10 per piece/unit if the patient is without a prescription plan. He called me today to have me stop over and check out some suboxone pills he had purchased and he claimed were counterfeit. I could not, and did not, believe his claims at first. Then I had the chance to inspect these pills first hand, and I was able to verify his claim...these were indeed fake suboxone tablets that were seemingly the real thing.

Some of this information is second hand from this trusted friend because I no longer take Sub, but all visual notes are first hand. This information is meant to be educational only. I am NOT suggesting that anyone ever obtain any medication without a legal prescription in your own name from a licensed doctor. At first glance, these counterfeit tablets look exactly like a real suboxone pill. Upon closer inspection, these were the differences that I was able to spot.

-Fakes were extremely hard. They were unable to be broken with my hands. A knife was a must use, compared to how the real ones easily break and crumble.

-The edges were very sharp on the fakes. Real suboxone tablets usually has softer, rounded edges or missing chips due to the softer nature of the pill.

-The fake pills did not have the same odor as the real ones very unique and distinct scent. They almost had the feint smell of soap or cleaning powder.

-The outside of the pill had what seemed to be a solid painted or sprayed on orange coating that was able to be wiped off once wet. It was also solid orange, lacking the white specs and porous texture of real suboxone. Also the internal color was almost beige. It was not the mixture or orange and white specs.

-The text was slightly different. The sword/cross was the same, but there was something different about the N8 text. I couldn't tell exactly what it was, but it just didn't look the same. Maybe different font style or size possibly. It may have even been the spacing. I honestly could not pinpoint the difference, but side by side with a real tablet there was a slight difference.

There were some other minor visual differences, but those are the main ones. As far as taking the tablet, this is the information that my friend said was different. He only took one tablet and instantly knew something was wrong. I did not take any.

-Taste was extremely bitter. Also had a hint of soap taste. Lacked any orange flavor that should be present. Also, made his entire mouth numb similar to Orajel or another OTC benzocane medicine made to numb tooth pain.

-Dissolved "from the inside out". Due to the tab being so hard on the outside, the inside powder dissolved leaving a hollow outer shell that was too hard to dissolve

-Produced nausea and a headache after about 15-20 minutes. No idea at all what substance this pill was made out of, but it could have easily been dangerous or poisonous. Had NO effect to help subside withdrawal. If anything, he said it made him feel worse...sweating, shaky, nausea.

This information is a prime example of why medication should NEVER be purchased or taken if not prescribed to you by a doctor. This is also meant as a warning to those people who may, for whatever reason, be purchasing (or considering doing so) suboxone on the streets. There is no way of knowing what these tablets are actually composed of. Please, be extremely careful of these counterfeit suboxone pills. Get to a doctor who can give you a legal prescription so that you can get real and safe medicine from a pharmacy.

After some research, I have found complaints of these counterfeit suboxone tablets showing up multiple places on the east coast from Washington DC, Baltimore, Philadelphia, NYC and Boston. They are hard to spot at a glance, and when illegally purchasing tablets this way, let's be honest...most people only take a quick look. They see the proper shape, color, and imprint. They don't notice that something is wrong until later on when they take a tablet or get somewhere that they can safely take a better look.

Again, this information is meant to inform and educate. I am in absolutely no way condoning obtaining your suboxone on the streets. Suboxone should be obtained from a licensed doctor and pharmacy. Overall moral/lesson - do not illegally purchase suboxone on the street.
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Unread 01-03-2013, 08:14 AM   #2
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Hi ItsMole, thanks for sharing that information. That's pretty scary thinking of what could have been in those fakes seeing how sick they made your friend so fast. Yikes.

Important information, again thanks for letting us know!

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Unread 01-12-2013, 06:07 PM   #3
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Thankyou!!! Im so glad you posted this! Yet, one more reason to see a doctor and NEVER buy suboxone off the street! Thankyou!
"Its you vs. you"
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Unread 01-13-2013, 03:47 AM   #4
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Would not make these so hard to get. It's literally selling life at the highest price. Oh I'm hoping the generic comes out.

But until then the street is it. Subs are not readily available on the streets here so hard stuff is only option until the cost is reduced. Have they not made enough. They will develop a so-called safer method once the film patent runs out this August. That's the way it is.

come to think of it maybe these fakes will force a generic to Come out. Because the authorities will realize the brand maker is actually causing damage by having a super drug but forcing the poor to go through the underground were they take advantage of us.
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Unread 08-31-2013, 10:00 PM   #5
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Wow! Im from Philadelphia pa, About 2 weeks ago I drove through the Kensington neighborhood where I once lived and grew up there. I was in need of a few subs that will last me a week. As I walked the avenue I approached this one guy who I seen pass something off to another man thst automatically struct a bell inside of my head hum? He must have subs. Remind you at this time and that day noone had anything kond of subs. No strips no pills..... anyways I seen the guy I ask for 4 subs the cops were on duty at this time and were driving up and down the Kensington ave I was quite nervous due to the fact I was on my lunch break... when I got home I was a little sick my body was in pain so I tried breaking a small piece of the sub it was very fishy though cause usually it breaks fast..... from there I kind of had a feeling I've been played. I was pissed I wanted to drive back down there and choke this guy... so I opened my laptop up sear c h the info on fake subs being sold in phila pa and this website popped up. I now buy and only stick to the strips.... im trying to find out more info on how could I see a doctor that can prescribed me them without me wasting money on the streets. Also do you need medical insurance?
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Unread 09-01-2013, 09:10 PM   #6
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Sorry for the length of this post. Probably should be written in a blog and may be. But when I hear of people having to buy Sub on the street it gets me a bit riled up. Most people will probably disagree or think I am off topic. I assure you Drs will not be a fan of this writing and not because of poor grammer but content. But that part doen't bother me.

It is a shame people even have to resort to the streets to stay afloat. For sure, there are those who purchase Sub off the streets to tide them over and have no desire to arrest their addiction. this post is not geared towards those folks.

My post has to do with people who would love to have the option of using Sub as a means to put their addiction disease in a state of remission. The number one barrier is cost. That is why there is diversion taking place in my humble opinion. Not only are people having to buy Sub off the street and bypass Drs even though they may have the best insurance premiums can buy for the simplle fact that Drs want their money in cash, those that go to the Dr and are doing the diverting are trying to get some of their money back so they, themselves can keep affording treatment. Shameful.

What if you worked at a company for the past 10 years and was already making an upper middle class lifestyle salary(or higher) and one day your boss came up to you and gave you the option of taking home with you a CD that had to do with more training.

Now it was not mandated you take the CD home with you, it was your choice. But if you chose to take the extra training and gain the minimum amount of knowledge(as determined by someone, or a group of someones that know nothing of the product themselves) required to get certified to sell a much needed and wanted product, and you can take that training at your leisure on your laptop, say in the comfort of your bed with you pj's on and a glass of scotch on the nightstand, would you take the trouble to do it. Maybe. But then what if you were told that if you do take the training via the CD you would be given the account of 100 people desparate to get the product. You could schedule a meeting with 4 people per day. The benefit of doing it would come in the form of a yearly raise.

If you were to extrapolate that scenerio to getting involved in the Sub business, then based on the median amount charged for the product(a script for Suboxone), which where I live is $200 per month after the rediculous induction fees, then the person who took that course at the company would make an additional $250,000 in cash. And as stated before, that is on top of your already hefty salary.

What person would turn down such an opportunity. Why do Drs not do it. The cost is a barrier to treatment and it does not have to be that way. I know firsthand patients should not be excluded because of cost. I have had 3 Sub Drs. The first one charged $25 every other month and gave a refill. I have had many Drs tell me that Sub could not be refilled. Now I know they knew better. It is not about the drug, it is about the classification. But i am sure somewhere buried within the CD or the liturature there are guidelines(sugggestions) for Dr to go by. One is that monthly visit are suggested. It is not a commandment nor the law of the land but it gives Drs an out and screws over long term, stable patients with no history of problems. Even Methadone clinics which are regulated to the nth degree being it is a Class II narcotic, rewards faithfulness and compliance by giving patients take-homes all the way up to a months worth. With the schedule III Sub in the privacy of a Drs office it seems monthly visits are the rule for the vast majority of Drs. That tells me one thing for sure. It does not require a lot of the Drs or nurses time to see 100 Sub patients per month. They are just as addicted to that 1/4 million in cash as their patients were to their drug of choice. And providers know that patients will be back every month. There is very little success when it comes to a patient saying, "the hell with it, I'm just going to stop taking this stuff". And even if the did the demand is there so someone would come along and start the process from the beginning, meaning even more money.

Then I went to Dr number 2. He wanted $250 upfront and the one and only time I saw that guy his first words were, "I do not prescribe Subutex." First of all I never asked and could have cared less. Naloxone or no Naloxone, it made no difference to me other than the fact these days a lot of money can be saved after leaving the Drs office by using Subutex. The reason he brought it up was because he had the chart in front of him from my Sub Dr number 1. It just so happen that that DR thought since methadone was what i was coming off of, Subutex would be a better alternative, so that is what he wrote me for over two years. There was no discussion about Suboxone vs Subutex. but Dr 2 assumed i was going to ask for Subutex so he thought he would hit me with a premptive strike. But he did not stop there. He gave me his rationale which was, Naloxone was the primary and most important of ingredients when it came to blocking the effects of other opiates. He gave me the example of my taking a Percocet. He told me it would be the Naloxone that would keep me from feeling its effects and getting high. I did have a question at that point. Keep in mind he still had not introduced himself nor even look me in the eye. He already had is $250 or i would have walked out the door on the idiot. He did not talk about addiction in general or counseling. The question I had followed his remarks about Naloxone. I told him I could care less which form of Bupe I took, that it was my other Dr's call on the Subutex. But I asked him if Naloxone was the all important ingredient and without it a person could take Bupe and Percocet and get high, then why would a company be so stupid in manufacturingf both Suboxone and Subutex. And why not just give people a script for Naloxone. If it was the most important ingredient and doing "all the work" in curbing cravings and wds why pay so much for Buprenorphen. This guy was like many others i called. Strictly in it for the money. And I can see why. The bulk of some of these walk in clinic Drs who were deadset against the prescribing of narcotics and theferore had no walk ins found a way to make close to a hald million in cash revenue when Sub came out in 2002. That was a lot of these quacks lifeline. I saw Dr 2 one time. As soon as I got home I typed and faxed him a letter firing his ass. I did not tell him he needed more training he needed to take some of the easily earned cash and buy himself a personality or go back to school and become a pathologist. Dealing with the public, especially a public in crises mose which addicts tend to be, was not something he should be involved with.

Then I met Dr 3 my present Dr. He charges me $50 a month(still cannot talk him into a refill) and leaves it up to me as to whether i take Bupe witrh or without Naloxone. I was even late getting to the office one afternoon due to a dead car battery. I was only 20 minutes late but the Dr had already left. The office mgr was there and said she wondered what happened to me that i was never late. She told me she was going to go ahead and ok my scripts that the Dr had said to do so if I made it in. When she gave me the scripts that had already been printed and signed by the Dr I started to give her my credit card. She said there would be no charge today because I never actually saw the Dr. When I do its usually for a couple minutes.

I got very lucky with my first Dr and boy when he left did he leave me with the wrong impression when it came to providers. Dr number 2, Dr NO as I call him, taught me that Dr 1 was an anomally in the Sub business, that most Drs that are involved in prescribing a narcotic only for the six figures they stand to make on top of what they were already making post sub days. The there is my present Dr. He still makes good money. He charges $200 a month for Sub patients and is at capacity so he, too brings in $250,000 per year on the backs of addicts. I am charged $50 because they never changed my fee from day one. And that is what they quoted me when I called. I was their first patient and they have just left my fee at what it was. Actually I told them about the free meds program after I had been going for a few months. I filled out the paperwork and as approved. At that time you did not get a card, they sent your medication to the Drs office every 25 days via Fed Ex. The NP would come in the room and open the package and hand me the bottles. That bothered me a little because there was nothing with my name on it when I left. I personally felt they should have opened the Fed Ex packages upon receipt and at least label the bottles with my name and directions. Technically, my meds were never in a rx bottle with my name on it. I am kinda surprised the bottle did not come labeled. Well because they were sent my medication every 25 days there were two months they received two packages. Somehow one fell thru the cracks and I only got 11 months worth instead of 12. No one could figure out what became of that one Fed Ex package. That is why I felt they should open them when the received them and labled the bottles. It was not hard to show i was owed one because I was made that 12th appointment but when the NP came in the exam room there was no package. Then something unheard of happened. The office mgr saw where I had paid for 11 visits and never did i get double my medicine at any visit. The office mgr said they had made a mistake that their policy was not to charge patients an office visit as long as they were one the free meds program. She wrote me a check for $600. That was even more than the 11 visits i paid for. Tell me. How many Drs do you know that would have such a staff that they would even consider such a thing.

There are many reasons for drug diversion. As it relates to Sub, I think cost of treatment(seeing the DR and then buy the medication) contributes to the diverting of a drug for which there is no real high, in my opinion of course. But it is obvious to me that physicians cost does not have to be a barrier. If they would just treat Sub patients in the privacy of their office the same as any other patient it would help matters. One day the ban will be lifted and Drs will be able to treat as many patients as they want. That is if drug diversion does not divert that. I cannot imagine the amount of money Drs could make as long as the number of providers remains stagnant. There will be a lot of Drs retiring in their early 50's or even late 40's. Or it could work the other way. Drs who have retired but who have remained in good standing could sit and write Sub scripts all day for a fee. That is my fear. That one day the reputation of Sub Drs will be similar to those guys they hire to write scripts at pain clinics in Florida where there is no rx monitoring system in place, yet.

For those who want treatment and cannot get it despite having good insurance and/or lack the amount of money needed is shameful. And the selling of a script for $200 a month is unnecessary. I have had 2 out of three Drs that prove that. The other guy, yeah, I can easily see where he would need the business of a desparate group of people to stay afloat and make a decent living. I hope the IRS audit guys like him.

There will always be people behind the manufacturing of counterfeit controlled drugs among certain legend drugs, especially given the demand. There will always be drug deversion. Patients will get more Sub than they need just to sell what they do not take to try and recoup some of their cost. It is a shame people have to go to these lengths and take the chance they do. Selling a film strip is no different than selling an oxycodone in the eyes of the law. Its the purchasing that bothers me. It may have become an unnecessary evil because that is the only way to try and do something about their addiction.

I would love it if the government got involved and did a little bit of regulating(a businessmans least favorite word) in this area of cost. take the diabetes or hypertension comparison. Like diabetes and hypertension opiate addiction or dependence is an epidemic in this country. We have about 5 percent o the world's population and we use 85 percent of the world's pain killers. They may be figuring in OTC meds as well but no matter how you slice it there is a problem. Now there is an answer to that problem. Its a bit ironic that the answer is another prescription opiate but it is what it his. Our body make its own natural opiates or it does when were are not bringing in some from the outside. Then our body shuts down its natural production. Well some people have to take insulin because their body has failed them in that area. Imagine going to a family Dr or any Dr to get their insulin and nedles and syringes. And because need les and syringes are involved Drs refuse to take their insurance and charge them $200 or more in cash to get the life saving medicine. And they have to come monthly to get a script that can be refilled. How long do you think that would last before the government stepped in and demanded that Drs stop the practice and be a bit more reasonable. Well I wish the same would happen with access to treatment for a an AMA recognized disease. That the goverment would step in and say what is the use of having a treatment for an epidemic that destroys lives, families and even small communities. Not to mention the cost related to law enforcement, you know that hugely successful war on drugs that is and has been waged with little to know gor result to show for it.

The war on drugs took a huge financial bite out of the war on mental health as the goverment changed its priorities. Mental health problems as we have seen over and over takes a evastating toll on the ill and those around them. Lock em up. Out of sight out of mind. I wonder how the crime rate would be impacted with another adjusting of priorities. But democracy( a misnomer) is about onje thing, lobbying power. And in that area the playing field is anything but level. Its very much askew. Despite the obvious need for some reform and cost control measure, addicts compared to the script writers are basically non existent. One thing I have learned from going to my share of Drs and that is much like law enforcement it is a matter of self regulation and the centering of one's on moral compass. There is nothing moral IMO about charging $200 a month for a script of Sub when before 2002 Drs seem to do just fine pre Sub.

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Unread 11-20-2013, 01:52 PM   #7
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Good old Kennsington, an open air drug market where the cops watch it go on and pretty much do nothing to stop it. Philadelphia and the surrounding suburbs have seen a 600%+increase in heroin related overdoses since 2011. It does not surprise me this is going on here and other places. I am writing a paper for my sociology class on this exact issue, i.e. whats causing the epidemic(big pharma pushing opiate pain killers), why patients can't get access to affordable treatment, and what should be done to combat this growing problem across our country. The biggest problem is access to treatment and $. It's the driving force of diversion.
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