September 25, 2017 - 11:30am EDT

WASHINGTON--(BUSINESS WIRE)--A newly-released report on counterfeit medicines is placing the spotlight on a problem that may be far worse than is commonly believed. According to the review conducted by The Partnership for Safe Medicines, counterfeit prescription drugs containing the deadly ingredient fentanyl, most often illegally imported, have been found in as many as 40 states and are tied to deaths in more than a dozen states.

The report was compiled by reviewing court records, statements by law enforcement and public health agencies, and news reports from a period of more than two years, from April 2015 to September 2017. The report comes on the heels of the seizure of nearly 200 pounds of illegal fentanyl by New York authorities, and has significant law enforcement ramifications given that it indicates that many fatalities have occurred because of illegally-doctored prescription medicines.