During a roundtable discussion focused on the nation’s worsening opioid crisis, advocates for ensuring a safe drug supply shared new data detailing the increasing prevalence of counterfeit medications and the rising number of deaths tied to them.
The Partnership for Safe Medicines (PSM) announced at the event hosted by U.S. Representative Kyrsten Sinema (D-AZ) that counterfeit pills made with illegally-imported fentanyl have now been found in 44 states and, with the recent death of an Idaho man, fatalities tied to counterfeit drugs have now occurred in 26 states.
“The U.S. is experiencing an extraordinary increase in public access to counterfeit drugs. It has escalated to a point that I haven’t seen in the more than thirty years that I’ve studied medicine safety,” said Marv Shepherd, board president of PSM. “People are dying from counterfeits in over half of our states and the problem continues to worsen. Elected officials must do everything within their power to protect patients and health care providers from the dangers inherent in unregulated medicines.”