TBI warns against counterfeit prescription drugs

The Tennessee Bureau of Investigation says it’s seeing more and more cases of counterfeit prescription pills being sold on the street, and that the pills can contain more dangerous drugs than the prescriptions they’re made to look like.

Last week, 300 pills the same size and color and with the same markings as Percocet turned out to be laced with the strong pain killer fentanyl.

Similarly, in May 2015, a Tennessee law enforcement agency recovered what looked like several 30 milligram pills of oxycodone during a traffic stop that turned out to contain fentanyl instead. The TBI says fentanyl is "50 times as potent as heroin" and "can be deadly in high doses."

“When people sell fake pills appearing to be oxycodone but actually containing the more powerful pain medicine fentanyl, lives are at risk,” said Tennessee Department of Health Chief Medical Officer Dr. David Reagan.

"If you’re taking pills made in clandestine labs, the fact is you don’t know what you’re getting," said TBI Director Mark Gwyn. 

The pills are reportedly being made in homemade labs with no quality control. The TBI says it has now gotten reports in counties throughout the state, including in northwest Tennessee.

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