Pills laced with fentanyl invade drug market

The Drug Enforcement Agency believes hundreds of thousands of counterfeit prescription pills laced with a powerful opioid have entered the U.S. drug market, according to The Guardian.

The pills, created using pharmacy-grade machines, look like regular prescription drugs but contain various amounts of fentanyl — an opioid 50 times more powerful than morphine.

They're sold as roxycodone on the streets of Miami and in New York night clubs, according to the DEA report.

The counterfeit pills pose a high risk of accidental overdose and death to the 4.3 million people who reported taking painkillers for non-medical reasons in 2014.

The DEA report identifies the fake painkillers as a growing trend that is likely to escalate, as the process of cutting and reselling counterfeit drugs yields high profits. The agency estimates 666,666 pills can be made per kilo of fentanyl and sold between $10 to $20 a pill.

More articles on the drug market:

FDA turns to banned factory to prevent cancer drug shortages
Push to lift Medicare ban on obesity drugs garners attention at RNC
India's growing role in the US generic drug market: 5 things to know

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