FDA, Interpol Crack Down on Websites Selling Illegal Drugs

Some of the medicines seized.                     Image

The FDA, for its part, focused on websites that illegally sell opioids online and ship them through the US postal system to USA consumers.

Interpol said Monday that it seized a record total of 25 million illicit and counterfeit medicines worth more than $51 million (42 million euros) in a weeklong worldwide operation.

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Operations were carried out in partnership with Revenue's Customs Service and An Garda Síochána as part of the Interpol-coordinated "Operation Pangea". "The ease with which consumers can purchase opioid products online is especially concerning to me, given the huge public health crisis of addiction facing our country".

"I hope that when people see the images from today of the illegal products that have been detained that they will think seriously about the risks involved in buying prescription medicines online".

The Department of Health has revealed that tens of thousands of illicit drugs were seized in Northern Ireland this month as part of a worldwide operation to disrupt the sale and importation of illegal medicines.

"Some of the websites sold unapproved versions of multiple prescription opioids directly to US consumers". Nearly 500 parcels were detained during screenings for illicit prescription drugs from International Mail Facilities (IMFs) in Chicago, Miami, and NY. The agency recently increased the numbers of inspectors to step up surveillance at the facilities.

In a statement, the FDA said that products on sites they identified during the operation may be counterfeit, contaminated, expired or otherwise unsafe. "These efforts are part of a much broader work plan that the FDA is developing aimed at beefing up our efforts to interdict illegal drugs". "As part of a broader effort to target this illegal activity, in addition to the operation that we are announcing today, the FDA is also working on a comprehensive Enforcement Operations Work Plan that's focused on combating the sale of foreign unapproved drugs to United States consumers and aimed at increasing the scope of our operations related to these risks".

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