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Hong Kong authorities seize fake Viagra, Cialis pills

Sunday May 1, 2005

Hong Kong authorities seize fake Viagra, Cialis pills

HONG KONG (AP) - Hong Kong authorities have seized 236 fake Viagra and Cialis sexual performance pills from local pharmacies and arrested eight people, the government said Sunday. 

The packaging of the fake and authentic pills is ostensibly identical, but the counterfeit packaging bears markings that are either blurry or darker, customs official Chiu Yuk-hung told The Associated Press by phone. 

The pills contain varying degrees of the real medication and other miscellaneous substances, and may lead to ill health if taken, Chiu said, citing information from the drugs' manufacturers Pfizer Inc. and Eli Lilly & Co., who tipped off authorities about the fake drugs. 

The fake medicine was being sold at the same price as the authentic pills, ranging from 320 Hong Kong dollars (US$40; euro30) to HK$400 (US$50; euro40) for a package of four. 

Some of the pharmacies raided were selling the pills without prescriptions, Chiu said. 

The arrested suspects _ seven men and a women aged 28 to 29 _ have not been charged and are free on bail ranging from HK$1,000 (US$130; euro100) to HK$5,000 (US$640; euro500) pending further investigation.

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