State Law Enforcement, Health Officials ‘Cracking Down’ on Sale of Illegal Mexican Prescription Drugs
The San Francisco Chronicle yesterday examined efforts by state law enforcement and health officials to begin "cracking down" on Latino markets in the Bay Area that sell Mexican versions of U.S. prescription drugs to individuals who do not have the "prescriptions, the money or the inclination to buy the medicines legally." Authorities maintain that the markets endanger the lives of consumers and illegally profit from their "poor access to health care and familiarity with drugs labeled in Spanish," the Chronicle reports. Over-the-counter sales of prescription drugs can lead to problems because patients may not receive the proper treatment, dosage or advice on administration and may experience side effects or develop resistance to the improper treatments. State health officials maintain that the problem is a "complex battle that is as much cultural as criminal" because many individuals who cannot afford to visit a health clinic for care decide to self-medicate as they did in their home nations, according to the Chronicle. Dr. Ray Wilson of the Department of Health Services said that self-medication is a "cultural habit." State health officials plan to hold a press conference to warn markets that they could lose their businesses and face misdemeanor charges for the over-the-counter sale of prescription drugs (Bulwa, San Francisco Chronicle, 6/5).This is part of the California Healthline Daily Edition, a summary of health policy coverage from major news organizations. Sign up for an email subscription.