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Lawmakers call for Mexico travel advisory over fentanyl-laced prescription pills

Sen. Ed Markey, D-Mass. (pictured in November), and Rep. David Trone, D-Md., are urging the State Department to issue a travel advisory for Mexico because of alleged prescription pills laced with fentanyl being sold to travelers. File Photo by Bonnie Cash/UPI
1 of 2 | Sen. Ed Markey, D-Mass. (pictured in November), and Rep. David Trone, D-Md., are urging the State Department to issue a travel advisory for Mexico because of alleged prescription pills laced with fentanyl being sold to travelers. File Photo by Bonnie Cash/UPI | License Photo

March 13 (UPI) -- Democratic lawmakers are urging the State Department to issue a travel advisory for Mexico because of prescription pills purportedly laced with fentanyl being sold to tourists.

Sen. Ed Markey, D-Mass., and Rep. David Trone, D-Md., penned a letter to Secretary of State Antony Blinken on Monday, saying American tourists are at risk when purchasing pills such as Oxycodone and Adderall south of the border.

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The lawmakers cited a recent report from The Los Angeles Times on counterfeit drugs contaminated with fentanyl.

"These adulterated drugs place unsuspecting U.S. tourist customers -- some of whom are seeking to avoid high pharmaceutical drug pricing in the United States -- at risk of overdose and death," the letter said. "The Los Angeles Times investigation found that 71% of the pills their investigators purchased from Mexican pharmacies were contaminated with powerful drugs such as fentanyl and methamphetamine."

A study from UCLA found that counterfeit pills sold in Mexican pharmacies contained controlled substances such as methamphetamine, heroin and fentanyl. In a 45-pill sample, nine pills that were marketed as Adderall contained methamphetamine. Three Oxycodone pills contained heroin and eight were laced with fentanyl.

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About two-thirds of pharmacies in four Mexican cities sold pills that contained at least one controlled substance without a prescription, the study found.

"As an immediate step, the State Department needs to warn Americans traveling to Mexico of the danger they face when purchasing pills from Mexican pharmacies," the press release from Markey and Trone added.

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