Iowa’s KCRG-TV9 reports that the U.S. Attorney’s Office of Northern District of Iowa issued a warning about deaths caused counterfeit prescription opioid pills. The office issued the advisory after a recent increase in deaths caused by fake pills containing fentanyl. Residents were advised to only get medication for legitimate health care providers.
The U.S. Department of Justice recently announced guilty pleas from two Waverly residents who sold counterfeit pills purchased on the internet that contained either carfentanil or cyclopropyl fentanyl. Cameron James Lensmeyer was convicted of possession with intent to distribute carfentanil and marijuana and Evan Paul Sage was convicted of possession with intent to distribute carfentanil, cocaine, and marijuana, and possession of a firearm in furtherance of a drug trafficking crime. In a plea agreement, Lensmeyer admitted that the two purchased hundreds of pills, including purported oxycodone and alprazolam pills, online.
U.S. Attorney Peter E. Deegan, Jr. offered this warning to the public: “Counterfeit prescription pills have become all too common. A pill may look like a prescription drug, but unless it was prescribed by a legitimate health care provider, looks can be deceiving. Pills purchased off the Internet or from the street often contain drugs far more powerful and dangerous than the purchaser may realize. These pills can kill.” Lensmeyer and Sage will remain in custody until sentencing. On solely the drug charge, each faces a possible 20 years in prison. The Tri‑County Drug Enforcement Task Force investigated this case and Assistant United States Attorney Dan Chatham was the prosecutor.
It is important to only purchase your medications from licensed pharmacies. If you are concerned about price, we recommend using GoodRx.com to see what price different pharmacies in your area are selling the same medication for. If you want to purchase your medications online, only purchase them from a pharmacy that has a website that ends in .pharmacy.
Iowa is one of 43 states that PSM has documented has a counterfeit fentanyl pill problem. You can read more about the issue of counterfeit drugs in Iowa here.