Mexico shutters 23 pharmacies at Caribbean coast resorts after US warned of dangerous pill sales

MEXICO CITY — Mexico has closed 23 pharmacies in Caribbean resorts, six months after a research report warned that drug stores in Mexico were supplying foreigners with pills they believed were Oxycodone. , Percocet and Adderall without an application, authorities said Tuesday.

A four-day inspection raid targeted pharmacies in Cancun, Playa del Carmen and Tulum.

In March, the US State Department issued a travel warning about the sale of such pills, and the practice appears to be widespread.

The Navy Department said on Tuesday that unusual sales were found at 23 of the 55 drug stores examined.

The Navy said pharmacies usually only supply medicines to tourists, and pharmacies advertised those drugs, even offering home delivery to them.

The Navy said it found drugs that had expired and some had no record of suppliers, as well as blank or unsigned prescription forms.

In February, the University of California, Los Angeles announced that researchers there had found that 68 percent of the 40 Mexican pharmacies visited in four northern Mexican cities sold Oxycodone, Xanax or Adderall and 27% of those pharmacies sell counterfeit drugs.

UCLA said research published in January found that “traditional pharmacies in northern Mexican tourist towns are selling counterfeit drugs containing fentanyl, heroin and methamphetamine. These pills are primarily sold to US tourists and are often sold as controlled substances such as Oxycodone, Percocet and Adderall.”

“These counterfeit pills pose a serious risk of overdose for buyers who think they are getting a dose,” said Chelsea Shover, assistant professor of residency in medicine at the David Geffen School of Medicine at UCLA. weaker drugs”.

And the US State Department’s travel warning in March said counterfeit pills sold in pharmacies in Mexico “may contain deadly doses of fentanyl”.

The Mexican Navy did not confirm whether any fentanyl-laced tablets were found in last week’s raid, but said the drugs were seized to check if they contained fentanyl.

Fentanyl is a much more potent synthetic opioid than morphine, and it is thought to be responsible for about 70,000 overdose deaths each year in the United States. Mexican cartels make it from precursor chemicals smuggled from China, then often press it into pills designed to look like other drugs.

Edmuns DeMars

Edmund DeMarche is a USTimesPost U.S. News Reporter based in London. His focus is on U.S. politics and the environment. He has covered climate change extensively, as well as healthcare and crime. Edmund DeMarche joined USTimesPost in 2023 from the Daily Express and previously worked for Chemist and Druggist and the Jewish Chronicle. He is a graduate of Cambridge University. Languages: English. You can get in touch with me by emailing

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