Pharmacy Times

FDA Cracks Down on Internet Pharmacies

Author: Daniel Weiss, Senior Editor

The FDA’s enforcement action against online pharmacies led to the shutdown of more than 18,000 illegal pharmacy websites and the seizure of $10.5 million worth of pharmaceuticals around the world.

The FDA has cracked down on more than 4000 Internet pharmacies that were selling unapproved, potentially dangerous drugs to consumers. The agency announced the crackdown, which was carried out in cooperation with regulatory and law enforcement agencies from 100 countries, on October 4, 2012.
 
The enforcement action, which took place between September 25 and October 2, led to the shutdown of more than 18,000 illegal pharmacy websites and the seizure of $10.5 million worth of pharmaceuticals around the world, according to the agency.
 
“Consumers in the United States and around the world face a real threat from Internet pharmacies that illegally sell potentially substandard, counterfeit, adulterated, or otherwise unsafe medicines,” said FDA Commissioner Margaret A. Hamburg, MD, in a press release. “This week’s efforts show that strong international enforcement efforts are required to combat this global public health problem. The FDA is committed to joining forces to protect consumers from the risks these websites present.”
 
Among the illegal medicines indentified by the operation were:
In conjunction with the crackdown, the FDA has launched “BeSafeRx,” a campaign to educate Americans about the risks of buying prescription medications over the Internet. A section of the campaign geared toward health care professionals includes tips on how to determine whether a patient may be likely to buy drugs from an online pharmacy and how to protect patients from doing so.
 
Previous Pharmacy Times coverage of Internet pharmacies: