US Department of State a warning was issued after a report showed that counterfeit pharmaceuticals containing illegal drugs are being sold in pharmacies in Mexico.
The department said the counterfeit drugs were tainted with substances including fentanyl and methamphetamine. The details of the fake pills were first reported by the Los Angeles Times. The Department said the Drug Enforcement Administration has also reported counterfeit prescriptions being sold on both sides of the border for OxyContin, Percocet, Xanax and others.
The department said in its advisory that people should “exercise caution when purchasing medications,” noting that pharmaceuticals, even those that may require a prescription in the United States, “are often available for purchase with little regulation.”
In addition to the risk of contamination, officials said counterfeit drugs could “turn out to be ineffective” or have the wrong strength.
“Drugs should be purchased after consultation with a healthcare professional and from reputable institutions,” the department said, noting that counterfeit drugs “are readily advertised on social media and can be purchased at small, out-of-network pharmacies in Mexico along the border and in tourist areas. zone”.
The kidnapping of four Americans earlier this month in a Mexican border town also drew attention to “medical tourism”, or when people travel to another country to get more affordable health care or get prescriptions. Although the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention does not track crimes related to medical tourism, they consider the practice “risky.”
A 2015 US International Trade Commission Study (USITC) found that about a million people from California traveled to Mexico to buy drugs at lower prices.
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