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Partnership for Safe Medicines Commends FDA Efforts Targeting Illegal Online Drug Sales

The Partnership for Safe Medicines applauded the U.S. Food and Drug Administration for its week-long effort to curb sales of medicines and medical devices from rogue online operators, dubbed OPERATION PANGEA IV.

Consumer information video on counterfeit medicines
by Interpol

The Partnership for Safe Medicines (PSM) today applauded the U.S. Food and Drug Administration for its week-long effort to curb sales of medicines and medical devices from rogue online operators, dubbed OPERATION PANGEA IV. The online sale of medicines and medical devices that are not FDA-approved or sold without the required physician prescription is a serious public health threat, subjecting American consumers to dangers that could cause harm or even death.

“We are pleased to see that the FDA is making it a priority to address the growing and alarming illegal online drug and device market, and commend them for this effort,” said PSM Board of Directors’ member Thomas Kubic, President and CEO of the Pharmaceutical Security Institute. “Given the inherently global nature of the pharmaceutical and medical device industry, we appreciate that FDA partnered with international law enforcement and regulatory agencies in this endeavor and believe such coordination is vital to addressing the global counterfeit medicine epidemic.”

PSM has been actively engaged in raising awareness of the threat posed by rogue online pharmacies.  This summer, PSM sent letters to 10 of the top online advertising networks urging them to adopt and post policies that prohibit ads from online pharmacies unless they are certified by the National Association of the Boards of Pharmacy’s (NABP) Verified Internet Pharmacy Practice Sites (VIPPS) program.

Through OPERATION PANGEA IV, the FDA not only sent warning letters to the operators of the websites it was targeting, but also alerted to the Internet Corporation for Assigned Names and Numbers, Registries, Internet Service Providers (ISPs), and Domain Name Registrars (DNRs) informing them that these websites were selling products in violation of U.S. law.

PSM provides a free guide to buying drugs safely online for consumers, pharmacists and medical professionals, and the FDA urges those who suspect criminal activity to contact them via www.fda.gov/oci.  


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