Mexico Closes Almost 2 Dozens Pharmacies for Shady Sales to Tourists

( – Mexican authorities announced on August 8 they closed 23 pharmacies at resorts on the country’s Caribbean coast. This measure took place six months after a study revealed that drug stores in Mexico were offering fake Percocet, Adderall, and Oxycodone to tourists without prescriptions. The four-day inspection raid targeted numerous drugstores in Playa del Carmen, Tulum, and Cancun.

In March, the State Department published a travel warning about the sales of these fake pills. However, different reports pointed out the practice widespread after the travel warming, adding that these fake pills are being sold in some of Mexico’s main cities outside the Caribbean coast.

In a statement, the Navy Department said that Mexican authorities found these irregular sales at 23 of 55 drugstores inspected. The Navy added that these pharmacies only offered the fake pills to tourists, and the drugstores advertised the pills and even offered home deliveries.

Back in February, UCLA announced that some of its researchers determined that 68 percent of the 40 Mexican pharmacies they visited were selling Xanax, Adderall, or Oxycodone. It also noted that 27 percent of these pharmacies were selling fake medication, pointing out that these pharmacies were located across four Northern Mexican cities.

The UCLA said that its study, which was published back in January, revealed that “brick and mortar” drugstores in some tourist towns in Northern Mexico were selling counterfeit pills that contained illegal drugs. These included methamphetamine, heroin, and even fentanyl. The pills were mainly sold to American tourists and usually passed off as legal substances such as Percocet, Adderall, and Oxycodone.

Assistant professor at UCLA’s David Geffen School of Medicine Chelsea Shover said that these pills represented a “serious overdose risk” to clients. He said that people who bought these pills thought they were getting the proper amount of a “weaker drug.” He also said this situation could have escalated to a scenario where many people would have died.

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