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Pills laced with fentanyl, meth found in some Tijuana pharmacies

Fentanyl pills pictured from a seizure in San Diego, Sept. 14, 2018.
Office of the United States Attorney
Fentanyl pills pictured from a seizure in San Diego, Calif. Sept. 14, 2018.

A Los Angeles Times investigation found some Tijuana pharmacies are selling fentanyl, methamphetamine and other illicit substances disguised as legitimate pharmaceuticals.

Of 17 pills purchased in smaller pharmacies in cities around northwestern Mexico, 71% contained illicit substances such as fentanyl or methamphetamine according to testing by the Times.

University of California, Los Angeles researchers conducted a similar study and also found some pharmacies selling counterfeit drugs containing fentanyl, heroin and methamphetamine.


Drugs sold as Oxycodone, Percocet and Adderall were the most likely to be tainted.

Los Angeles Times reporter Keri Blakinger said the counterfeit pills were found at smaller, independent pharmacies, opposed to larger retail chains, and mostly in areas of cities frequented by tourists.

American citizens are known to travel to Mexico to buy prescription drugs because they are cheaper than in the U.S. and easier to get without a prescription.

Blakinger joined Midday Edition on Wednesday to talk about her reporting.

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