International action against online pharmacies: FDA

Recently, the FDA and other federal & international agencies, in partnership have taken action against websites that sell potentially dangerous, unapproved prescription drugs to US consumers. The Customs and Border Protection (CBP) has also conducted extensive investigations at US based international mail facilities, where many packages containing prescription drugs enter the USA. During the investigation the CBP found that most of the packages examined contained illegal prescription drugs that had been ordered from online sources.

Interpol has sponsored these actions and are also known as Operation Pangea VII. The law enforcement, customs and regulatory authorities from 111 countries worked together to identify the makers and distributors of illegal drug products and medical devices that used the Internet to sell their products and remove them from the supply chain. Several consumers order medicines from online sources believing that they will receive the same medicine as the U.S. approved version.

About 20,000 packages containing medicines from Australia, the United Kingdom (UK), New Zealand and Canada were seized. These packages actually contained unapproved or suspected counterfeit drugs from other countries, such as India, China, Singapore, Taiwan, Mexico, Laos, Malaysia, as well as Australia, New Zealand and the UK. The FDA has provided the information with consumers on how to identify an illegal pharmacy website and instructions on how to find a safe online pharmacy through their new website: BeSafeRx: Know Your Online Pharmacy.