Danny Trejo Stars in New PSA “Bad Meds” to Combat Deadly Counterfeit Medicine and Drugs Sold Online

Alliance of Safe Online Pharmacies, the LA County Sheriff’s Department, the LA Police Department, the National Association of Boards of Pharmacy and The Department of Homeland Security among those sponsoring the partnership aimed at saving lives

LOS ANGELES – Safe.Pharmacy, a website dedicated to protecting individuals with safe medication tools and resources, is announcing today its first PSA aimed at combating counterfeit medications. The PSA, “Bad Meds” – the fakest movie ever created – will run across TV, social media, radio, print and out-of-home, and features award-winning actor Danny Trejo, who is on a mission to raise consumer awareness about the dangers of counterfeit medicine.

Forensic lab testing reveals that four out of every ten counterfeit pills contain a potentially lethal dose of harmful ingredients. In fact, according to The World Health Organization, more than one million deaths occur annually from counterfeit or substandard medicine and drugs. With the COVID-19 pandemic driving more than half of American consumers to purchase medicine online and 95% of the world’s 35,000 online pharmacies operating illegally, the risk of receiving “Bad Meds” is greater than ever before.

“I’ve lost so many friends, and as someone who has seen it from both sides of the fence, it has gotten so much worse over the years,” said Trejo. “This partnership that we’ve developed is what really needs to continue around the world. Since I’ve partnered with the LA County Sheriff’s Department in the past to help rehabilitate individuals, this PSA felt like a natural fit for me to participate in. I’m dedicated to making a difference, especially when it comes to illegal and counterfeit drugs, and I’m excited to see others are just as committed as I am to ending this horrible problem that only continues to get worse.”

With the help of the Los Angeles County Sheriff’s Department, the Alliance of Safe Online Pharmacies (ASOP), the National Association of Boards of Pharmacy (NABP), The Department of Homeland Security, The National Intellectual Property Rights Center, Crime Stoppers and the Los Angeles Police Department, “Bad Meds” came to life. The PSA, which showcases fake movie sets with Trejo at the forefront, is focused on targeting vulnerable patients, including minority and homeless communities who are more at-risk for receiving counterfeit drugs.

“People are constantly looking for cheaper access to medicine, especially these days, and the internet is the outlet valve for that search,” said Libby Baney, Senior Advisor and Co-Founder of the Alliance for Safe Online Pharmacies. “Internet criminals know that people go online for three reasons: convenience, cost and access to care. Counterfeit medicines are rampant, and the risks are exponentially greater when you go online. We need to make it simple for people to find a safe site, and Safe.Pharmacy makes it really easy to verify before you buy. Danny Trejo cares about this – this is an issue that transcends Hollywood and is a reminder that everyone needs to hear this message and care about this.”

In addition to the aforementioned partners, The Department of Homeland Security is set to continue its efforts to combat illicit drugs that have been causing record-breaking deaths around the world. Newly elected L.A. County Sheriff Robert Luna and his dedicated team, as well as the Los Angeles Police Department are also active members  of the partnership, helping lead the charge on changing how individuals view medications and helping them understand the safety issues that exist when it comes to purchasing them online.

“It’s not the traditional brick and mortar pharmacy anymore, so people from all walks of life are buying pharmaceuticals online through companies they don’t know just because the website may look good, and that gets dangerous,” said Geoffrey Deedrick, Lieutenant in the Office of Counterfeiting at the Los Angeles County Sheriff’s Department. “We need everyone to understand that this problem exists and that it’s not a small problem, but one that could really kill you. So education is of the utmost importance. This campaign is the epitome of a public-private partnership: people like Danny Trejo make it easy to connect with everyone and showcase the importance of accessing safe medication. The purpose of ‘Bad Meds’ is to save lives and ensure people get the right medications, because the wrong ones could be deadly.”

“Bad Meds,” which was developed by creative studio The-Artery will run across a variety of platforms, including social media and influencer marketing, and the campaign will also be featured in print, press, television, radio and out-of-home placements that include transit and a live billboard roadblock in Times Square. The still image – a movie-like poster touting the subhead “The Story of a Fake” – will lead viewers directly to the video where they can easily access the safe.pharmacy website. With an ongoing social campaign educating viewers on ‘how to spot a fake,’ social assets will give step-by-step instructions alongside an animated screen to make the process of visiting safe.pharmacy fool-proof for the audience, ultimately saving more people from Bad Meds.

For more information on “Bad Meds” and the mission of the PSA, please visit Safe.Pharmacy.


Link to media assets here.



Los Angeles County Sheriff’s Department
Alliance for Safe Online Pharmacies
National Association of Boards of Pharmacy
Crime Stoppers
National Intellectual Property Rights Center
LA Police Department
Department of Homeland Security and Investigations 

Agency: The-Artery

Founder / CCO: Vico Sharabani
Executive Producer / Managing Director: Deborah Sullivan
Production Manager: Danielle Shimshoni
Art Director: Summer Schneider
Creative Consultant: Ernest Lupinacci
Writers: Deborah Sullivan, Tara Steketee

Production Company: The-Artery

Founder / CCO: Vico Sharabani
Executive Producer / Managing Director: Deborah Sullivan
Director: Ben Nicks
CD/VFX Supervisor: Yuval Levy
On-Set Supervisor: Elad Offer
Head of Production: Danielle Shimshoni
Producer: Tina Nakane

Post Production Company: The-Artery

CD / VFX Supervisor: Yuval Levy
Editor: Michael Elliot
Assistant Editor: Tony Scharko
Senior Post Producer: Michael McCarthy
On Set Supervision: Elad Offer
Flame Artist: Aarif Attarwala
Flame Artist: Philip Akka
Flame Artist: Jesper Nybroe
2D Comp Artist: Nate Soto

Post Production Audio Services

Sound Lounge
Engineer / Sound Designer: Tom Jucarone
Producer: Camila Dayson Aravena
Executive Producer: Dana Villareal

Margarita Mix Hollywood
Recording Engineer: Paul Hurtubise
Producer: Julian Terrile

Music by Giulio Carmassi & Bryan Scary

Casting Director
Seth Yanklewitz

Danny Trejo

About LA County Sheriff’s Department:

The Los Angeles Sheriff’s Department, officially the County of Los Angeles Sheriff’s Department, is a police force serving Los Angeles County, California. It is the largest sheriff’s department in the United States. The department’s three main responsibilities are to provide municipal police services within Los Angeles County, courthouse security for the Superior Court of Los Angeles County, and housing and transportation services of inmates within the county jail system. The LASD provides municipal police services to the unincorporated communities and 42 of the 88 cities within Los Angeles County.

About The Department of Homeland Security:

The United States Department of Homeland Security (DHS) is the U.S. federal executive department responsible for public security, roughly comparable to the interior or home ministries of other countries. Its stated missions involve anti-terrorism, border security, immigration and customs, cyber security, and disaster prevention and management.

About The LA Police Department:

The Los Angeles Police Department (LAPD), officially known as the City of Los Angeles Police Department, is the municipal police department of Los Angeles, California, with headquarters in the Civic Center district. With 9,974 police officers and 3,000 civilian staff, it is the third-largest municipal police department in the United States, after the New York City Police Department and the Chicago Police Department.

About The National Association of Boards of Pharmacy:

NABP is the independent, international, and impartial Association that assists its member boards in protecting the public health. Visit nabp.pharmacy to learn more.

About the Alliance for Safe Online Pharmacies (ASOP Global):

Headquartered in Washington, D.C., the Alliance for Safe Online Pharmacies (ASOP Global) is an international 501(c)(4) social welfare organization dedicated to protecting patient safety globally and ensuring patient access to safe and legitimate online pharmacies in accordance with applicable laws. Members include organizations representing pharmacists, pharmacies and physicians; patient safety groups; public health organizations; pharmaceutical manufacturers; government entities; and Internet security organizations.

About The-Artery:

Founded by award-winning CCO Vico Sharabani, The-Artery has evolved from a boutique studio at its formation, to a  multi-faceted creative powerhouse, handling all aspects of content creation from ideation through sound design. Now, the studio is home to a roster of five directors, VFX artists, colorists, VR experts, editors and sound designers from around the globe working harmoniously across advertising, film, TV, music videos, and gaming – each engaging a sharp focus on merging creativity and technology.