Illegal Pharmacy Websites Admonished by FDA

June 18, 2015
Meghan Ross, Associate Editor

The FDA has taken action against more than 1040 websites selling unapproved prescription drugs and medical devices.

The FDA has taken action against more than 1040 websites selling unapproved prescription drugs and medical devices.

Owners of these illegal pharmacy websites received regulatory warnings and faced seizure of illegal medication and devices. The FDA also sent warning letters to almost 400 websites and 9 firms that distributed unapproved or uncleared products.

Some of the unapproved prescription drugs found during the operation, deemed Pangea VIII, included generic versions of Valium, Truvada, and Meridia. Some of the illegally sold devices included dermal fillers and the Ondamed system.

Through international mail screenings of drug products and devices, the FDA also detained 814 objects that will not enter the United States if the contents violate the Federal Food, Drug, and Cosmetic Act.

Operation Pangea VIII sought to find the individuals responsible for distributing these illegal products and remove the devices and meds from the market, according to the FDA.

“Our efforts to protect the health of American patients by preventing the online sale of potentially dangerous illegal medical products will not cease,” George Karavetsos, director of the FDA’s Office of Criminal Investigations, said in a press release. “Operation Pangea VIII provides yet another avenue for the FDA to engage with our international law enforcement partners on these critical issues. We are not only pleased to be a part of this strong international enforcement effort, but resolved to do everything we can to ensure that the global problem of illegal Internet drug and device sales is deterred as a result.”

The FDA reminded consumers that illegal online pharmacies and medical device retailers may not only be selling dangerous products, the owners of these sites may also be involved in credit card fraud and identity theft.

The administration advised patients to use its site BeSafeRx: Know Your Online Pharmacy to find a safe online pharmacy.