2019 NABP Report Finds Fentanyl-Laced Fake Opioids for Sale Everywhere on the Internet

Screen capture of counterfeit Xanax and oxycodone for sale on Instagram November 22nd.

In their latest report on fake online pharmacies that ply their trade in the United States, the National Association of Boards of Pharmacy (NABP) found more than 1,500 new websites that it considers “Not Recommended,” and of these, 31% are offering illicit prescription drugs, such as codeine, fentanyl, oxycodone, Adderall, Valium, and Xanax.  99% of the websites offering these drugs for sale do not require a prescription, and 94% are selling medications that lack FDA-approval.

The NABP’s Rogue RX Activity Report 2019 points out, “If someone is accustomed to taking a less potent drug, unknowingly taking a look-alike drug made with fentanyl can, and does, cause accidental overdose. These falsified drugs are often purchased online.”  They note that fentanyl often gets to consumers via counterfeit drugs, and that law enforcement nationwide are seeing a glut of counterfeit medications made with fentanyl.

 NABP considers a pharmacy website “Not Recommended” if they offer prescription medications for sale without a prescription, if they offer prescription medication for sale that they are clearly not authorized to sell, and if they offer controlled substances for sale.

 In closing, NABP emphasizes the need for Internet and social media companies to do more to suppress access to illicit drug sellers; “NABP calls on internet stakeholders to take additional proactive steps, including: deindexing websites of known illegal online drug sellers; reporting to law enforcement those entities that want to advertise the sale of CS via the internet platform; and directing users to legitimate pharmacies when users search for medicines via an internet platform.”

 Consumers can guarantee medication safety when purchasing online by using the NABP’s Safe.Pharmacy site to find legitimate online pharmacies from which to buy their medication.