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Pill Presses and Counterfeit Prescription Narcotics: Supporting the STEER Act

Counterfeit prescription narcotics

In their opposition to drug importation legislation, the myriad “non-profit” groups funded by drug companies often cynically invoke the evils of counterfeit drugs. We’ve seen this as recently as this week, when an importation bill triumphantly passed in Florida (Prescription Drug Importation Programs HB19). One such group, the Partnership for Safe Medicines, was called out by PolitiFact for essentially lying that the new state law would “allow” imports from China “without FDA inspection,” tacking on that “too many have already died from counterfeit drugs.”

The Florida drug importation bill builds in so many regulatory checks that it may in fact make importation from Canada into Florida safer than our “regular” drug supply chain, but that’s for another post. As it happens, no one has ever been reported killed by a non-controlled prescription drug imported from a pharmacy that required a valid prescription.

PolitiFact is right to call out PSM, but I’m sad to report that, yes, there is a very real counterfeit drug problem in the United States. But, unlike the fake counterfeit drug facts propagated by groups like PSM to scare people away from buying lower-cost medicines online, it comes in the form of illegal fentanyl ingredients used to make counterfeit prescription narcotics.

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