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Report – 40 States and counting: the deadly combination of imported fentanyl and counterfeit medicines

Partnership for Safe Medicines (PSM) |

The Partnership for Safe Medicines has released a new report on counterfeit drugs made of fentanyl and often illegally imported, which have been found in 40 U.S. states and have provoked death in more than a dozen of them in the past two years.

Those medicines are usually made into fake opioids, like OxyContin, but also into fake Xanax and non-opioid pill shapes. This substance is highly dangerous – raw fentanyl is deadly in just a few grains.

“We’ve had a number of examples of counterfeit pill seizures and tragic fentanyl-related deaths, but this report paints a picture of a nation under siege from fake and lethal drugs coming across our borders,” said Dr. Marvin Shepherd, chairman of the PSM Board and former director of the Center for Pharmacoeconomic Studies at the University of Texas at Austin’s College of Pharmacy.

The report recommends the steps that federal authorities should take to address this growing crisis, including providing U.S. Customs and Border Protection with sufficient resources to combat the flow of counterfeit drugs entering the country, removing bureaucratic barriers so that authorities can destroy packages of verified counterfeits, and forbidding anyone who does not have a license to manufacture medications from purchasing or owning a pill press.

Download the full report here.


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