Two men suspected of producing fake pills and potions to "treat" impotence were arrested by Herzliya Police last week.
The Health Ministry's unit to combat pharmaceutical crime assisted the police, who seized 30,000 tablets and little bottles of a product called "Herba Gra for sex-life improvement" as well as dozens of counterfeit Viagra and Cialis erectile dysfunction drugs.
In the investigation, one of the suspects - who lives in Herzliya - said that he manufactures the products and packages them in a warehouse in Kfar Manda in the Galilee for people in east Jerusalem, who important the "active ingredient" from China.
The warehouse was also raided by police, who found pill-making machines, along with chemicals, blister packets for pills and aluminum foil to seal them into the blisters.
The suspect said he did not know what was contained in the pills but knew only that the active ingredient came from China. The ministry's lab found that this active ingredient was sildenafil, which is in fact the main component of Viagra and Cialis.
In 2005, the ministry received a request from a number of east Jerusalem and Ramallah residents for a license to market Herba-Gra, which they claimed was an "herbal mixture." It was given for a year and renewed from time to time, the ministry said.
Finally, ministry suspicions led to the police action.
These pills pose a public health danger to men who think they are taking pills with "natural ingredients," when in fact they contain a prescription drug chemical that can be harmful to those with heart conditions.