In recent months there have been reports of fake drugs popping up in pharmacies in Mexico, and pharmacies getting shut down in multiple cities.
In fact, according to Los Cabos officials, a U.S. publication, the Los Angeles Times, has reportedly indicated that this is a problem in a number of tourist destinations in the country.
But officials say that there are no fake drugs in Los Cabos pharmacies, disputing the recent findings.
The Dangers Of Fake Drugs
When referring to fake drugs in Mexico, it’s not so much that they are fake but that they may not contain what the package says.
Essentially, they’re more counterfeit than they are fake, containing stronger substances like fentanyl and methamphetamine, which can lead to an accidental overdose.
Usually, these cheaper drugs are used to be passed off as drugs like Adderall, Oxycodone, and Percocet.
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Fake Drugs In Mexico
At least 23 pharmacies were recently closed in a handful of Mexican Caribbean vacation destinations due to the presence of fake pills.
At the time of the announcement, the pills had not yet been analyzed for content but were found not to contain in them what the package said.
The counterfeit drugs were found when authorities analyzed nearly 60 different pharmacies in the region.
The LA Times Report
The L.A. Times reported in June that “tainted drugs” were being found in pharmacies all over Mexico.
In fact, public health officials in L.A. County even issued a warning to residents about the fake drugs and named multiple cities.
Prior to that warning, the L.A. Times specifically named Cabo San Lucas and San Jose del Cabo, back in February, as being two of the places where counterfeit pills were found.
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Fake Drugs In Los Cabos Not Confirmed
According to COEPRIS, the State Commission for Protection Against Health Risks, in the state of Baja California Sur, there have not been fake drugs found in Los Cabos pharmacies.
An official from the office reported that they had received reports of counterfeit medications but that nothing was confirmed during past visits to local pharmacies.
That official commented that “they were reports, but nothing justified.”
How Los Cabos Is Ensuring That Fake Drugs Don’t End Up In Their Pharmacies
José Manuel Larumbe Pineda, the head of COEPRIS, reportedly indicated that periodic visits are made to Los Cabos pharmacies to check for fake or pirated drugs.
He said that the purchase and sale of drugs in pharmacies is closely monitored as well and that it is more common to see such drugs being sold in other establishments, like grocery stores, for example.
Typically, these are sold as single pills, rather than in packages.
How Tourists Can Protect Themselves
While it would be nice for fake pharmaceuticals to simply not make their way to Los Cabos, it’s better to err on the side of caution, and there are ways for tourists to protect themselves.
Avoiding sketchy, no-name pharmacies is one way to do that. Also not purchasing drugs from grocery stores, or, obviously, from anyone on the street.
The best thing you can do, though, is to have the medications you need when you travel in the original prescription pill bottles.
Staying Safe In Los Cabos
Los Cabos is a safe vacation destination, one of the safest in Mexico, in fact.
But as with any vacation destination, there are risks, so it’s important to take precautions to keep yourself safe.
In Los Cabos, one way to do that is avoiding pharmacies, despite the fact that no fake drugs have been found yet.
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