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    Weight Loss Drug Illegally Purchased On Social Media Sickens Westchester Woman, Feds Say

    By Michael Mashburn,

    2024-05-01

    https://img.particlenews.com/image.php?url=1VJCly_0skvHBja00

    A wannabe social media influencer from New York hoping to cash in on the medication weight loss craze illegally sold Ozempic and other drugs on TikTok, sickening at least one victim, federal prosecutors allege.

    Long Island resident Isis Navarro Reyes, age 36, of Shirley, is named in a six-count indictment that was unsealed in Manhattan federal court on Wednesday, May 1.

    Prosecutors allege that Reyes posted dozens of TikTok videos advertising and selling various misbranded and adulterated weight loss drugs, including Ozempic, Mesofrance, and Axcion, between November 2022 and January 2024.

    She obtained the drugs from Central and South America despite not being licensed to administer prescription medication, prosecutors said. None of the drugs were approved by the FDA for sale in the United States.

    In her TikTok videos, Reyes reportedly instructed viewers on how to administer the weight loss drugs and how frequently they should be taken. She also instructed viewers to contact her via an encrypted messaging app on her cell phone if they wanted to purchase the drugs.

    A Westchester County woman residing in White Plains reached out to Reyes in February 2023 and ordered 30 injections of the weight loss drug Mesofrance. Reyes then shipped the drugs to her house, according to investigators.

    As all of the labeling was in a language other than English, Reyes reportedly sent the woman audio messages instructing her on how to administer the drug. Between February and June 2023, the woman self-administered 28 injections.

    On July 13, the woman messaged Reyes saying she was developing lesions from administering the Mesofrance. She also sent photos of her injuries.

    Three months later, the woman’s doctor diagnosed her with a mycobacterium abscessus infection, which is frequently caused by contaminated medication.

    Testing by the New York Department of Health on one of the Mesofrance vials that were allegedly purchased by Reyes confirmed the bacteria’s presence.

    Reyes was arrested Wednesday, May 1, after she shipped Ozempic to an undercover federal agent who paid her $375 for the drug, according to prosecutors.

    She is charged with the following:

    • Receipt of misbranded drugs in interstate commerce
    • Three counts of dispensing of a misbranded drug while held for sale
    • Conspiracy to introduce and deliver for introduction a misbranded drug in interstate commerce
    • Smuggling

    The case highlights a rise in criminals hoping to take advantage of the skyrocketing public interest in weight loss drugs, US Attorney Breon Peace said.

    “Reyes’s alleged unlawful dispensing of these drugs caused significant, life-threatening injuries to some victims and put all of her victims in harm’s way,” Peace said.

    “With this, the first misbranding and adulteration charges brought pertaining to semaglutide, Reyes will be held accountable for her conduct, and criminals should think twice before trying to sell weight loss drugs without a license to do so.

    “This case makes clear that extreme caution and physician consultation should always be taken when purchasing medications, especially on social media.”

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