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MEXICO CITY — The US State Department has issued a travel warning about dangerous counterfeit pills sold in pharmacies in Mexico that often contain fentanyl.
The travel advisory issued on Friday said Americans should “use caution when purchasing medications in Mexico.”
Small pharmacies in tourist areas and border regions sometimes sell advertised drugs like OxyContin, Percocet, Xanax and others without a prescription.
The State Department has warned that these pills are often counterfeit and “may contain lethal doses of fentanyl.”
“Counterfeit pills are easily advertised on social media and can be purchased at small off-chain pharmacies in Mexico along the border and in tourist areas,” he said.
A study by researchers at the University of California, Los Angeles found that 68% of 40 Mexican pharmacies visited in four cities in northern Mexico sold Oxycodone, Xanax or Adderall, and 27% of these pharmacies were selling fake pills.
UCLA said the study, published in January, found that “physical pharmacies in tourist towns in northern Mexico sell counterfeit pills containing fentanyl, heroin and methamphetamine. These pills are sold primarily to American tourists and are often advertised as controlled substances such as Oxycodone, Percocet and Adderall.
“These counterfeit pills pose a serious risk of overdose to purchasers who believe they are getting a known amount of a weaker drug,” said Chelsea Shover, assistant professor-in-residence of medicine at the David Geffen School of Medicine. ‘UCLA.
Anecdotal evidence suggests the problem exists in resort towns like Playa del Carmen and Tulum, not just border towns.
The State Department did not respond to a request for comment on whether any Americans had overdosed or died as a result of drug sales in Mexico.
A State Department spokesperson wrote in response to the request that “the United States Department of State has no higher priority than the safety and security of American citizens abroad. We take seriously our commitment to providing U.S. citizens with clear, timely, and reliable information about every country in the world so they can make informed travel decisions.
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US warns against selling dangerous fake pills in Mexico
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