US Bolsters Post on Fentanyl in Pharmacy Pills Sold in Mexico (Newser)


    US Doesn't Warn About Deaths From Pharmacy Pills in Mexico

    US Bolsters Post on Fentanyl in Pharmacy Pills Sold in Mexico – By Bob Cronin (Newser) / Mar 18 2023

    Victim’s family has tried to get agencies to act since overdose in 2019

    UPDATE Mar 18, 2023 2:45 PM CDT
    The State Department has strengthened its cautioning about pharmacies in Mexico selling counterfeit pills laced with fentanyl, warning that the doses can be fatal. The alert was posted Friday, per the AP, mentioning stores for the first time. “Counterfeit pills are readily advertised on social media and can be purchased at small, non-chain pharmacies in Mexico along the border and in tourist areas,” the post says. The State Department, which has been pressured to act, cited media reports on the matter in its statement. Officials did not respond to a request for comment about whether any Americans had overdosed or died after consuming the drugs, sometimes bought in Mexico without a prescription.

    Mar 15, 2023 4:46 PM CDT
    After Brennan Harrell, 29, died of a fentanyl overdose on vacation in Mexico, his parents worked with US federal agencies on the investigation, with the expectation Americans would be warned that some pharmacies there sell counterfeit medications laced with illicit fentanyl. His family didn’t want anyone else to suffer a fatal overdose. That was in 2019, meaning, the Los Angeles Times reports, that the Drug Enforcement Administration and State Department knew of the danger for more than three years without taking action. Harrell’s case “could have prevented more deaths that have surely occurred since then,” said Chelsea Shover, a UCLA researcher, adding, “and yet there wasn’t any kind of public information campaign about it.”


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