Travel warning urged over fake meds in Mexican pharmacies

Lawmakers in the US have pressed for the State Department to issue a travel warning for Americans visiting Mexico, advising them of the dangers associated with buying medicines from pharmacies there.

Senator Ed Markey (D-Mass) and Representative David Trone (D-Md) cite multiple reports of counterfeit medicines laced with drugs like fentanyl and methamphetamine being sold to American citizens in a letter addressed to Secretary of State Antony Blinken, Some of those buying medicines are doing so to avoid high pharmaceutical drug pricing in the US, they suggest.

The politicians have asked the State Department to respond to their letter by March 30. The action follows the publication of a study on the early-access research site medRxiv, which found that counterfeit pills were obtained at 11 of 40 pharmacies evaluated, two thirds (68 per cent) of the time without a prescription.

Pharmacies providing counterfeit drugs were uniformly located in tourist-serving neighbourhoods, and generally featured English-language advertisements for erectile dysfunction medications and painkillers, according to the researcher behind the work.

Along with high drug prices in the US, they suggest that the drivers for the Americans using Mexican pharmacies include the normalisation of  medical tourism, plummeting rates of opioid prescribing north of the border, and the rapid emergence of highly addictive fentanyl-containing counterfeit medicines.

“US tourist drug consumers may be more trusting of controlled substances purchased directly from pharmacies,” they write. “Due to Mexico’s limited opioid overdose surveillance infrastructure, the current death rate from these substances remains unknown.”

Related articles:

     Want our news sent directly to your inbox?

Yes please 2


Home  |  About us  |  Contact us  |  Advertise  |  Links  |  Partners  |  Privacy Policy  |   |  RSS feed   |  back to top