Op-Ed |

Counterfeit drugs jeopardize Ohio’s safety, security, and economy

This article originally appeared in Cleveland.com on December 8, 2023.

CINCINNATI — Ohio is facing numerous crises at home and abroad, including an unsecure U.S. border, an epidemic of fentanyl overdoses, economic instability, and growing national security threats from China. As someone who has had been fortunate enough to serve as a diplomat, Ohio mayor, and in various other roles across the federal and state governments, I have had the unique vantage point to see how these different problems can sometimes tie together.

That is why, during the third Republican presidential debate, in Miami on Nov. 8, I was so pleased to see the candidates smartly focus on how the issue of counterfeit drugs ties all four of these issues together.

Florida Gov. Ron DeSantis told a heartbreaking but all too common story about a father whose son passed away from a fentanyl overdose. The victim “wasn’t a drug addict,” but just an ordinary guy “taking some pill that happened to be laced with fentanyl.” Ohioan Vivek Ramaswamy rightly pointed out that these types of deaths from fentanyl-laced counterfeit drugs should not be called an overdose. He said that “if you put that fentanyl in a Big Mac, we would not call that an overdose” — we would call it “closer to bioterrorism.”

Ohioans are witnessing the devastating consequences of this bioterrorism from fake counterfeit drugs nearly every day.

Read full up-ed in Cleveland.com.

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