Feds Crackdown on Online Pharmacies in Utah and Illinois

Federal authorities are beginning to crackdown on online pharmacies that distribute prescription drugs without prescriptions.

Federal agents recently filed court papers in Illinois and Utah over two online pharmacies that are allegedly run by the same man, Kyle Rootsaert, according to CNN. The agents had obtained search warrant affidavits for the two pharmacies in Des Plaines, Illinois, and American Fork, Utah.

“This is a pretty large ring of at least 200 websites that acted as internet pharmacies that were basically selling drugs – prescription drugs – without requiring a valid prescription,” John Horton, a former official in the White House Office of National Drug Control Policy, told the news source. “These affidavits indicate this was a multiyear, multimillion-dollar operation involving thousands and thousands of prescriptions. Going back in time, there were even deaths involved with this organization.”

Authorities allege that the Illinois pharmacy, now called Rand Pharmacy, shipped 30,000 packages of prescription drugs across the country through the first half of 2010.

According to the documents, the majority of the drugs were highly addictive in nature, such as muscle relaxants Soma and tramadol. Furthermore a government source told CNN that most of the prescriptions were issued by a Dr. William E. Morrow of Layton, Utah, who never saw or even talked to those who were buying drugs from the online pharmacy.

The news source was able to track down Morrow at his home in Utah, but he told the reporters to leave.

“I don’t want to talk now,” he said to the reporters, according to CNN. “Now get off the property. Get off the property.”

In 1999, Morrow lost his right to dispense controlled drugs for three years because he did not follow proper prescription procedures, according to Utah records. He was also fined $1,000 but he regained his right to prescribe controlled medications in 2002. His right to practice medicine was never taken away.

Federal agents bought drugs from the online pharmacies between 2008 and April 2010 without a prescription, the affidavits say. In 2008 a CNN reporter was able to obtain the antidepressant Prozac without a prescription from the accused pharmacies.

Americans can be sure that they are getting their medication from a reputable place if they visit a licensed brick and mortar pharmacy or use a verified online pharmacy that has been certified by the Verified Internet Pharmacy Practice Sites, or VIPPS, program at legitscript.com.