Mr. Herbert’s warning about counterfeit drugs needs to be taken seriously, and extends to even Over the Counter drugs purchased in Mexico. As a Senior Special Agent (Retired), U.S. Customs, I can recall when the Food & Drug Administration did a study of over the counter drugs seized by Customs. These were all kinds of drugs - aspirin, cold remedies, vitamins, etc. purchased in Mexico by folks wanting to save some money.

In most cases, the labeling was very close to, if not a perfect copy, of what you would see in a U.S. drug store, right down to the ‘made in USA’. The contents were most definitely not the same. In some cases, there was no medication at all. In others, there were trace amounts of the identified drug, sometimes cut with ‘milk sugar’. So you paid for 10 milligrams of ‘X’, and received 1 milligram - or none!

Some of the “drugs” were cut with substances other than ‘milk sugar’ - in at least one case, the cutting agent was rat poison. And in most every case the drugs were adulterated with dirt, insect parts, even mouse or rat feces. The travelers assured us they had bought the goods in a ‘well known pharmacy’ in Mexico, usually recommended by others on a limited income.

Remember, if something seems ‘too good to be true’, it usually is. Why risk your health trying to save a few dollars by importing OTC drugs? Worse yet, some folks offered to bring back extra amounts for their friends. When they were caught by Customs, even if they avoided felony criminal charges for smuggling, there are civil fines and seizure of the vehicle.

Protect your health - buy your drugs in the US and get what you need!

Seth R. Nadel,


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