Wednesday, September 19, 2018

Agencies Warn Public about Counterfeit Pills

Counterfeit pills, which could be deadly, are being sold on the street, state law enforcement agencies are warning.

The Oklahoma Bureau of Narcotics (OBN), Oklahoma State Bureau of Investigation (OSBI), and the U.S. Drug Enforcement Administration (DEA) are working to identify the source of a deadly counterfeit prescription drug. OBN Spokesman Mark Woodward says in recent weeks, one person has died and another victim was hospitalized after purchasing the drug on the streets. 

Woodward said, “It appears both victims bought what they thought was the prescription painkiller, Oxycodone. However, a sample of a pill submitted to the OSBI Lab tested positive for Fentanyl, a very powerful and cheap synthetic opioid often sold on the black-market by itself or used as filler in such drugs as heroin. These counterfeit pills have been pressed into the same shape, with the same color and brand markings as legitimate pharmaceutical Oxycodone, so it’s almost impossible to tell the difference out on the streets.”

The victim who survived the overdose from this counterfeit drug was saved by the administration of Narcan, a drug that can reverse an opioid overdose. Woodward says authorities want the public to be aware of this new threat to help prevent any additional victims of this drug. Anyone with information that could help investigators identify the source of these pills is urged to call OBN at 1-800-522-8031. Callers can remain anonymous.

Sally Maxwell, Senior News Director

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