PMA has been present in history since 1970, where it was first available on the black markets around the world. The first deaths reported by the U.S. due to the substance being mis-sold as MDA, were in 1972. The first known, and reported death in the UK due to PMA was Jeremy Andrew Shaw, who died in 1975. Around this time (1975), the substance was being sold as a recreational psychoactive under the name “chicken powder” and “chicken yellow”.

The substance then began to drop in circulation from the market in the 1980s, with only a few deaths being reported between the late 1970s and the very early 1990s. However, in the early 1990s there was a rise in deaths again as the substance began to reappear in Australia. Since then, the pill has been dropping in use, and resurfacing in the illicit market every so often. In 2000-2001 there were nearly 20 deaths across the world due to PMA/PMMA being mis-sold as ecstasy pills.

In late 2010, over a course of 6 months there were 12 deaths in Norway that were found to be caused by PMMA. This first brought PMMA into mainstream media attention.

In 2013 we have seen a drastic rise in PMA/PMMA deaths occurring in the UK due to the same reason. Between June and July there have been just under 30 deaths because of the substance being mis-sold as ecstasy/MDMA across England, Scotland and Northern Ireland, and the death toll still seems to be rising.