Dangerous fake injectable hormones smuggled into Israel from Turkey

Use of fake ampoules can cause damage to health and side effects including edema, depression, fatigue and irritability, the Health Ministry said.

 The counterfeit ampoules smuggled to Israel. (photo credit: HEALTH MINISTRY)
The counterfeit ampoules smuggled to Israel.
(photo credit: HEALTH MINISTRY)

Inspectors from the Health Ministry’s division for enforcement and supervision and enforcement and Customs and Tax Authority officials have seized hundreds of counterfeit ampoules of Pregnyl 500 IU hormones at the Allenby Bridge crossing to Jordan that had been smuggled in from Turkey.

Use of fake ampoules can cause damage to health and side effects including edema, depression, fatigue and irritability, the ministry said.

Pregnyl injections are comprised of human chorionic gonadotropin (HCG), a hormone that supports the normal development of an egg in a woman’s ovary and stimulates the release of the egg during ovulation. HCG is used to treat infertility in women and to increase sperm counts in men.

The suspect behind the crime, who is not an Israeli citizen, was caught with a large number of pills and ampoules of various types in his suitcase. He was interrogated by customs and claimed to be a doctor, but the ministry said there was no evidence found for this,

The lab tests that were conducted confirmed the forgery of the ampoules and that they had not been produced under supervision, that they contained substances of poor quality that were not compatible with the substances from which the original medicine is made. 

 Travelers seen at the arrival hall of Ben Gurion International Airport, near Tel Aviv, on April 11, 2018 (credit: MOSHE SHAI/FLASH90) Travelers seen at the arrival hall of Ben Gurion International Airport, near Tel Aviv, on April 11, 2018 (credit: MOSHE SHAI/FLASH90)

How can the fake ampoules be identified?

The fake ampoules can be identified by the following signs:

The batch numbers on the packages and ampoules are N117516/2025-07 and 22319/2025-07. The fonts and signs on the packages were not the same as those on the genuine drug. 

Dr. Roni Berkowitz, director of the department of enforcement and supervision, said that “the activity at the Allenby crossing was done as part of the ministry’s enforcement activities together with the Customs and Tax Authority to prevent the importation and marketing of drugs not approved for sale in Israel. Disciplinary and criminal procedures against violators of the law will be carried out.”

The ministry warns the public not to purchase and use counterfeit products that may harm public health and stresses that medicines should only be purchased in pharmacies and with a doctor's approval. If there is a suspicion of the marketing of fake drugs and preparations or that there are side effects from their use, it should be reported to the division for enforcement and supervision by emailing [email protected]