In a recent statement, the U.S. State Department has issued a troubling alert about the sale of dangerous counterfeit pills in Mexican pharmacies, which may contain fentanyl.
This warning is especially aimed at travelers purchasing medications in Mexico, as it has been observed that small pharmacies located in tourist areas and border regions are selling drugs such as OxyContin, Percocet and Xanax without a prescription.
The State Department strongly warns that these pills often turn out to be counterfeit and may contain lethal doses of fentanyl, a highly dangerous opioid.
Following the warning Mexican authorities shut down 23 pharmacies in Caribbean resorts of Cancun, Playa del Carmen, and Tulum for irregular pill sales, according to news reports.
Alarming findings from a UCLA study
A study conducted by the University of California, Los Angeles, has shed light on this problem.
In a sample of 40 Mexican pharmacies located in northern Mexican cities, a staggering 68% of them were found to be selling Oxycodone, Xanax or Adderall, drugs that would normally require prescriptions in the United States.
What is even more disturbing is that 27% of these pharmacies were marketing counterfeit pills containing fentanyl, heroin and methamphetamines. These counterfeits pose a serious overdose risk to consumers, as inaccurate dosages and uncontrolled combinations of substances can have lethal consequences.
A risk that transcends borders
This problem is not limited to border cities, but extends to popular tourist destinations such as Playa del Carmen and Tulum. The presence of counterfeit drugs in these places represents a significant risk for visitors who may be deceived by the legitimate appearance of the pills.
Moreover, this problem not only affects foreign tourists, but also endangers Mexican citizens who trust in the safety of the medicines they purchase.
The silence of the State Department
In light of these alarming circumstances, information has been sought on cases of overdoses or deaths of U.S. citizens due to medications purchased in Mexico.
However, the State Department has declined to comment on the matter and has not released details of any such events.