FDA takes action against illegal online medication sales

The U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) and international regulatory and law enforcement agencies acted this week against more than 1,050 websites illegally selling unapproved prescription medications and medical devices.

“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.

The actions were taken as part of the Eighth Annual International Internet Week of Action, a global effort led by INTERPOL to fight the illegal sale of illegal and possibly fake medical products on the Internet.

Operation Pangea VIII was the FDA’s contribution to IIWA. The FDA sent warning letters to the operators of almost 400 websites offering unapproved prescription medicines and to nine firms supplying unapproved medical devices online.

FDA inspectors, in collaboration with other federal agencies, also screened and seized illegal drug products and medical devices received through International Mail Facilities in Chicago, Miami and New York.

“Operation Pangea VIII provides yet another avenue for the FDA to engage with our international law enforcement partners on these critical issues," Karavetsos said. "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.”

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