January 5, 2024
Public safety and public health officials worldwide should be aware of an emerging threat of diverted liquid pharmaceutical fentanyl, and other liquid forms. This threat could have severe implications for the introduction of fentanyl into a country’s illicit drug supply, or make an existing fentanyl epidemic worse.
  • Fentanyl misuse or abuse typically involves injection or smoking of illicitly manufactured fentanyl (IMF). Illicit fentanyl is most commonly sold on the street as counterfeit tablets or as powders in folded glassine papers.
  • Recently, however, diverted injectable solutions of pharmaceutical fentanyl have been reported in countries where IMF has not yet become established, such as Nigeria, Colombia and El Salvador (see details over); in addition to Argentina (500 vials), Brazil (72 vials), and Costa Rica (25 vials). Furthermore, there are reports of fentanyl injectable solutions being stolen or diverted from hospitals, clinics and medical supply houses in Panama (19,000 vials), the United States, and Europe.