FDA Takes Action Against Thousands of Illegal Internet Pharmacies

FDA Takes Action Against Thousands of Illegal Internet Pharmacies

October 4, 2012 Updated Oct 4, 2012 at 1:17 PM CDT

(FDA news release) The U.S. Food and Drug Administration, in partnership with international regulatory and law enforcement agencies, took action this week against more than 4,100 Internet pharmacies that illegally sell potentially dangerous, unapproved drugs to consumers.

According to a news release posted on the FDA website:

Actions taken include civil and criminal charges, seizure of illegal products, and removal of offending websites.

The announcement takes place during the 5th annual International Internet Week of Action (IIWA), a global cooperative effort to combat the online sale and distribution of potentially counterfeit and illegal medical products. This year’s effort – Operation Pangea V – operated between Sept. 25 and Oct. 2 and resulted in the shutdown of more than 18,000 illegal pharmacy websites and the seizure of about $10.5 million worth of pharmaceuticals worldwide.

The goal of this annual effort, which involved law enforcement, customs and regulatory authorities from 100 countries, is to identify producers and distributors of illegal pharmaceutical products and medical devices and remove these products from the supply chain.

“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, M.D. “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.”

Read the entire FDA news release HERE.