Swiss customs intercept 1m fake Xanax pills

Zurich AirportAround a million counterfeit psychotropic tablets have been intercepted in Switzerland by customs officers at Zurich airport.

The fakes - which were made to resemble Pfizer's Xanax (alprazolam) used to treat anxiety and panic disorder - were found on testing by national drugs regulator Swissmedic to contain no active pharmaceutical ingredient (API). 

They were discovered in four shipping crates en route from China to Egypt and - according to the agency - "would be unrecognisable as counterfeits at a first glance".

Swissmedic immediately informed international authorities, in particular the Egyptian and Chinese health authorities. At the same time, Swissmedic initiated administrative proceedings and ordered the destruction of the drugs.

"No patients in Switzerland are affected by this development," said Swissmedic. "All medicines obtained via legal means (from pharmacies, doctors and hospitals) are safe, effective and of good quality."

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