The Food and Drug Administration (FDA) took action this week targeting 465 websites that illegally sell potentially dangerous, unapproved versions of opioids, cancer and antiviral prescription drugs to U.S. consumers.
The crackdown was part of a collaborative global effort led by Interpol, known as Operation Pangea XI, which seeks to combat the unlawful sale and distribution of illegal and potentially counterfeit medical products sold on the internet.
The agency’s multipronged enforcement strategy under Operation Pangea XI was aimed at identifying the makers and distributors of illegal prescription drugs and removing the products and their sources from the supply chain. During this year’s effort, the FDA arrested a San Diego resident who is alleged to be responsible for shipping more than 50,000 tablets containing the lethal opioid fentanyl to the U.S. through the dark net and other means. The FDA also prevented the entry of nearly 800 products found at three of the nine international mail facilities in the U.S.
NACDS and its allies, including the Alliance for Safe Online Pharmacies (ASOP), have advocated for, and applauded, steps by Congress and federal agencies to improve the effort to confront illegal online drug sellers. NACDS is a founding member of ASOP and its Director of Federal & State Public Policy represents NACDS on ASOP’s board.