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Are the Prescription Drugs You Are Taking Real, or Counterfeit? HDNet's Dan Rather Reports Investigates
Date:9/13/2010

DALLAS, Sept. 13 /PRNewswire/ -- Tomorrow night, "Dan Rather Reports" will present an investigation into the distribution of counterfeit drugs.  These are not just lifestyle drugs like Viagra or Cialis, these are counterfeit versions of life saving drugs like Aricept, used for the treatment of Alzheimer's and Casodex, used to treat prostate cancer.  This insidious crime is netting billions of dollars for criminals while, potentially robbing unsuspecting victims of something more important than money... their health.

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The hour begins with footage that has never been broadcast before, footage of Chinese businessman Kevin Xu, videotaped by agents of the Federal government.  Xu is currently serving a six and a half year sentence for conspiring with others in the Peoples Republic of China to traffic in counterfeit pharmaceutical drugs.  Xu first met with U.S. law enforcement in Thailand in 2007, when he was hoping to move large quantities of expensive counterfeit prescription medicines - little did he know that his potential customer was actually a U.S. Customs agent wearing a wire and that the entire meeting was being videotaped at a distance by another officer.  

"Mr. Xu was unlike any other person that we had encountered.  Most individuals that come on our radar typically counterfeit lifestyle enhancing drugs; drugs such as Cialis and Viagra," said Andre Watson, the U.S. Immigration and Customs enforcement special agent tasked with watching Kevin Xu.  "In the case of Mr. Xu he offered a wide variety of drugs. Just by the array of products it was clear that he had access to manufacturing and distribution capabilities."

Xu is also believed to be part of a U.K. distribution ring that caused a "category one" recall of three drugs in Great Britain.

However, while Xu may be in prison, there are many others who are succeeding in flooding the medicine supply with fakes – especially in Africa.  

Dan Rather and his team also traveled to Lagos, Nigeria, the most populous country in Africa, and the continent's second largest economy behind South Africa. The country is battling to stem the relentless flow of fake medicine pouring over its borders from the most callous and dangerous of counterfeiting operations – big pill mills in China and elsewhere that are targeting the most helpless.

Rather explores the back alleys of a Nigerian marketplace with Dr. Paul Orhii, the Director General of the National Agency for Food and Drug Administration and Control, or NAFDAC, where often times the small pharmacists are unknowingly pushing bad medicine.  

Tom Woods, a former U.S. State Department agent in Africa, and a private consultant for the makers of Truscan, a portable device used as a preliminary field test to assess the authenticity of the pills in question, warns, "It's not just Nigeria's problem. It's really becoming the world's problem because these drugs are not manufactured in large measure right here in Nigeria.  And as you follow it up the food chain, you realize that we're all becoming more vulnerable."

"Dan Rather Reports: The Mysterious Case of Kevin Xu" premieres on HDNet, Tuesday, September 14 at 8:00 p.m. ET with an encore at 11:00 p.m. ET.

About HDNet

HDNet (www.hd.net) is the independent network with unique and thought-provoking content that appeals to men of all ages and is delivered in true high definition.

HDNet is the exclusive, high definition home for popular, original programming, including television's only HD news feature programs "HDNet World Report," and the Emmy Award winning "Dan Rather Reports," featuring legendary journalist Dan Rather.  Only HDNet goes beyond the headlines to deliver real news that is redefining the way we look at our world.  HDNet News is provocative, sometimes controversial and always relevant - telling the important stories of our time in-depth, with attitude and with independence. HDNet is also the exclusive high definition home to critically acclaimed and award winning documentaries as part of the InFocus series.  "NASA on HDNet" presents all live shuttle launches through 2010. 

HDNet presents championship sports coverage featuring the best of Mixed Martial Arts with its Friday night series, "HDNet Fights" (www.hdnetfights.com).  "HDNet Fights" works with leading MMA promoters including DREAM, Sengoku, King of the Cage, XFC, K-1, K-1 Max, MFC and more.  HDNet produces more live Mixed Martial Arts events than any other network and HDNet's "Inside MMA" is the hottest Mixed Martial Arts program on television, giving MMA fans their weekly fix for everything MMA, while "Fighting Words with Mike Straka," goes one-on-one with some of the biggest names in the sport. HDNet also features live coverage of regular season games from the second season of the United Football League.

HDNet also delivers the world's largest and most diverse concert line-up through the HDNet Concert Series.  The HDNet Concert Series features leading artists and bands including Paul McCartney, Mariah Carey, John Mayer, Nickelback and more.  HDNet also features revealing lifestyle programming featuring "Art Mann Presents," "Girls Gone Wild," "Deadline" and "Get Out!"  

Only HDNet Movies (www.hdnetmovies.com) delivers exclusive Sneak Previews of new movies before they hit theaters.  The HDNet Movies Sneak Preview series features top Hollywood stars in critically acclaimed performances including Gwyneth Paltrow, Joaquin Phoenix, Demi Moore, Michael Caine, Tom Hanks, Vera Farmiga, Parker Posey, Brian Cox, Matthew Broderick, Brittany Snow, Eric Bana, John Malkovich, Emily Blunt, Robin Williams, Charlize Theron and Kim Basinger.

In addition to being the exclusive home of Sneak Previews, HDNet Movies viewers enjoy the best films from the classics of the 1950s-1970s, to favorite films from the 1980s and 1990s, to recently released theatrical films.

HDNet Movies offers subscribers a premium movie viewing experience in true HD, and more original movies shot entirely in HD than any other network.

Launched in 2001 by Mark Cuban and General Manager Philip Garvin, the HDNet networks are available on AT&T U-verse, Charter, Comcast, DIRECTV, DISH Network, Insight, and Verizon FiOS. 

The HDNet networks can be followed via Facebook at facebook.com/HDNet, facebook.com/HDNetFights and facebook.com/HDNetMovies and via Twitter at twitter.com/hdnet, twitter.com/hdnetfights and twitter.com/hdnetmovies.


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