DEA warning internet companies to crack down on pill press sales

WASHINGTON –  The U.S. Drug Enforcement Administration has issued a letter to e-commerce companies warning about the legal requirements for selling pill presses. The letter comes just weeks after eBay agreed to pay $59 million to settle allegations that it violated the Controlled Substances Act (CSA) by selling thousands of pill presses and encapsulating machines through its website. 

Courtesy: Drug Enforcement Administration

The DEA says officers have found pill presses and stamps that can be used to make fentanyl pills for sale on various internet sites.

“Drug traffickers are killing Americans by selling fentanyl hidden in fake pills made to look like real prescription medicines.  This is possible because drug traffickers are able to buy the tools they need, like pill presses and stamps, online,” said DEA Administrator Anne Milgram.

Courtesy: Drug Enforcement Administration

Under the CSA, e-commerce companies are required to collect information on the buyers and sellers of pill presses and provide notice to the DEA of any sale, import, export, or transfer.  

“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 Milgram.

Courtesy: Drug Enforcement Administration

In 2023, the DEA seized more than 79 million fake pills containing fentanyl, which is a more than 33% increase in one year.  As Emily’s Hope previously reported, DEA lab testing reveals that seven out of ten fake pills contain a potentially deadly dose of fentanyl. 

Several companies, including Amazon and Etsy, have banned the sale of pill presses and stamps altogether.