Operation Pangea VIII Takes Action Against More Than 1,000 Purveyors of Fake Drugs & Medical Devices

During The 8th annual International Internet Week of Action (IIWA) led by Interpol, the FDA along with law enforcement from across the globe acted to eliminate the sale of counterfeit medications and medical devices on the Internet.

As part of Operation Pangea, the FDA sent close to 400 warning letters to websites offering “unapproved or misbranded prescription medicines to U.S. patients and to nine firms distributing unapproved or uncleared medical devices online,” reports the FDA in a press release.

According to the FDA, the illegal websites targeted were selling what they claimed were FDA-approved generic versions of asthma medications, HIV treatments, breast cancer medications, obesity treatments, antidepressants, hormone replacement therapies, sleep aids and other drugs to treat erectile dysfunction, high cholesterol and seizures.

The goal of Pangea VIII, according to the FDA is “to identify the makers and distributors of illegal prescription drug products and medical devices and to remove these products from the supply chain.”

This year’s IIWA is a collaboration between the FDA, the U.S. Department of Homeland Security, National Intellectual Property Rights Coordination Center, INTERPOL, the World Customs Organization, the Permanent Forum of International Pharmaceutical Crime, Heads of Medicines Agencies Working Group of Enforcement Officers, the pharmaceutical industry and national health and law enforcement agencies from 115 participating countries.

By S. Imber