DEA Urges E-Commerce Companies to Act Against Sale of Pill Presses Linked to Fentanyl

The U.S. Drug Enforcement Administration (DEA) issued a letter addressing e-commerce companies regarding the distribution of pill presses, a concern tied to the proliferation of fentanyl-related fatalities in the United States.

In light of the alarming drug poisoning epidemic gripping the nation, claiming the lives of approximately 110,757 Americans in 2022 alone, with roughly 70% involving fentanyl, the DEA underscores the pivotal role of e-commerce platforms in mitigating this crisis. Notably, criminal entities such as the Sinaloa and Jalisco Cartels are utilizing pill presses to fabricate counterfeit prescription medications infused with fentanyl, often disguised as commonly prescribed drugs like oxycodone and Xanax.

Recent DEA data indicates a significant surge in seizures of counterfeit pills containing fentanyl, surpassing 79 million in 2023, representing a 33% increase from the preceding year. Alarmingly, laboratory analyses reveal that 7 out of 10 counterfeit pills contain lethal doses of fentanyl.

Expressing grave concern, DEA Administrator Anne Milgram emphasized, "Drug traffickers are killing Americans by selling fentanyl hidden in fake pills made to look like real prescription medicines. This is possible because drug traffickers are able to buy the tools they need, like pill presses and stamps, online."

Recognizing e-commerce platforms as pivotal stakeholders in curbing this crisis, the DEA reiterates that these entities are subject to Controlled Substances Act regulations. As such, they are mandated to adhere to stringent recordkeeping, identification, and reporting protocols concerning the distribution, importation, and exportation of pill press machines.

Moreover, the DEA underscores the importance of collaborative efforts, referencing the Industry Liaison Project initiated in 2019, which engaged over two dozen e-commerce entities to address the sale of pill presses and related regulatory compliance. Notably, proactive measures were taken by some companies, including Amazon and Etsy, which banned the sale of pill presses and stamps in response to DEA outreach.

In urging e-commerce platforms to assume responsibility, Milgram emphasized, "E-commerce platforms cannot turn a blind eye to the fentanyl crisis and to the sale of pill presses on their platforms. They must do their part to protect the public, and when they do not, DEA will hold them accountable."

As the nation battles this devastating overdose crisis, the DEA affirms its commitment to leveraging all available resources to safeguard communities and save lives from the scourge of fentanyl poisoning.


Excelsio Media

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