USA—On Monday, the U.S. Drug Enforcement Administration sent e-commerce companies a notice about the pill presses being used to manufacture fentanyl pills.  
 
The Drug Enforcement Administration (DEA) has discovered that several platforms are selling pill presses, punches, and other materials that can be used to create counterfeit tablets that contain fentanyl.

Over 79 million fentanyl-laced phony pills were recovered by the DEA in 2023, a more than 33% rise from the previous year.

According to DEA laboratory tests, seven out of ten pills currently contain a fentanyl dose that could be fatal. 

“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,” said DEA Administrator Anne Milgram. 

The DEA stated in the letter, that drug traffickers are pressing fentanyl into pills using tableting and encapsulating devices, also known as pill presses, and are stamping signs and logos to make them appear like genuine prescription tablets.

According to the federal agency, the tablets are marketed on social media, frequently to users who are unaware that they are fake or that they contain lethal substances like fentanyl.  

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Being a synthetic opioid that is 100 times more potent than morphine and 50 times more potent than heroin, fentanyl is still the most dangerous drug threat confronting the United States as its also highly addicting. 

The tiny quantity of fentanyl that may fit on the tip of a pencil, two milligrams, is regarded as a potentially fatal dosage.

The CDC reports that 107,622 Americans lost their lives to drug poisoning in 2021, and that synthetic opioids like fentanyl were responsible for 66% of those deaths.  

Most of the fentanyl being trafficked in American neighborhoods is mostly the product of the Sinaloa and Jalisco cartels in Mexico, who use ingredients principally imported from China which are often deadly and look exactly like real prescription medications OxyContin, Percocet, and Xanax.  

Through its One Pill Can Kill campaign, the DEA is working to alert the American public of the dangers of fake prescription pills.  

eBay Inc. (EBAY.O), an online retailer, settled accusations that it had broken the Controlled Substances Act (CSA) by agreeing to pay US$59 million and improve its compliance program last month. 

 The allegations related to thousands of pill presses and encapsulating machines sold on eBay were resolved.

E-commerce platforms must typically abide by the recordkeeping, identity, and reporting requirements on the distribution, importation, and exportation of pill press machines since they are regulated companies under the CSA.

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