Global Sting Operation Shuts Down 18,000 Illegal Online Pharmacies, Seizes 3.75 Million Counterfeit Medicines Worth Over $10.5 Million
100 Countries Participate in Operation Pangea V’s Worldwide Crackdown on Fake Pharmacies and Drugs
The Partnership for Safe Medicines (PSM) is extremely pleased with the conclusion of Operation Pangea V, a worldwide, coordinated sting operation targeting illegal online pharmacies that has yielded spectacular results.
Coordinated by INTERPOL, Pangea V ran from September 25 through October 2 and was a global effort involving the cooperation of law enforcement, customs, health officials and the private sector. According to INTERPOL, Pangea V was the largest internet-based sting operation of its kind, leading to raids of suspected illegal drug suppliers, 79 arrests and investigations, and the seizure of 3.75 million units of counterfeit or illegal medicines. INTERPOL also reports over 18,000 websites linked to illegal online pharmacies have been shut down.
Tom Kubic, PSM Treasurer and head of the Pharmaceutical Security Institute, which participated in Operation Pangea V, today released the following statement:
“On behalf of PSM and over 70 organizations that comprise our membership, I’d like to congratulate INTERPOL and the many agencies around the world whose efforts have made patients safer today. Illegal online pharmacies are a global health menace, but recent bold initiatives targeting the criminals who produce and sell counterfeit medicines are starting to turn the tide in our favor.
“Just last week, FDA Commissioner Margaret Hamburg used the PSM Interchange to announce BeSafeRx, a new nationwide effort to educate the public about the dangers of illegal online pharmacies and how consumers can protect themselves. And with international cooperation increasing every day, we can expect to see even more success in the future as we strive to accomplish our goal of ending the threat of counterfeit medicines forever.”
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