On September 30th, the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) and the Drug Enforcement Administration (DEA) issued a joint warning to four online networks that were operating a total of ten fake online pharmacy websites. While all four networks were offering misbranded/counterfeit opioid medications such as tramadol and Soma for sale without a prescription, three of the online networks had marketplaces offering misbranded medications to treat a kaleidoscope of ailments, such as allergies, cancer, smoking, asthma, and infection.
The websites operated by Euphoria Healthcare included the sites tapentadol.us, and genericwellness.com. An Internet Archive search of Generic Wellness’ prescription medication offerings shows that this illegal online pharmacy was selling misbranded “generic” versions of Sofosbuvir (Hepatitis C), Bactrim and Suprax (antibacterial treatments), Amoxil, Cipro, and Zithromax (antibiotics), Zyrtec, Flonase spray, and Clarinex (allergy), and the hair loss treatment Propecia, among many other essential medications.
Generic Wellness claimed on their site “We are well known online pharmacy for selling FDA approved high quality generic medicines all over the world.” This statement cannot be true, since the FDA specifically warned them for selling non-FDA approved medications.
The ‘About us:’ section of the Generic Wellness site goes even further, stating: “Thus we sell over 100 generic products which are manufactured under government certified standards and meet the highest Food and Drug Administration (FDA) and World Health Organization (WHO) standards and requirements. Therefore all the generic medications available in our website are equivalent to the branded ones in comparison to its reliability and safety.”
The JMC Pharmacy Group also offered what they claimed were FDA approved medications as well. An Internet Archive search of their GM Pharmacy also known as Got Milk Pharmacy and Global Order Trade Medicine International Licensed Pharmacy showed they were selling non-FDA approved versions of Lipitor (cholesterol), Zithromax and other antibiotics, Truvada (HIV), and birth control pills. Images from the website included an opened box of codeine phosphate cough syrup bottles taken in the front seat of a car, bags of so-called Adderall pills in plastic sandwich bags on a kitchen counter, and crumbled bars of counterfeit Xanax labeled, “Brand Xanax Onax bar 2mg Niravam, Alprazolam $120,00 – Strong.” Most disturbingly this internet site labeled as a pharmacy advertises admits their oxycodones are counterfeit and expect their users to abuse them intravenously or by snorting. The description beneath the so-called Oxycodone 30MG pills says the are “pressed with Fentanyl 0.8 MG which is equal 100MG OXY as active substance. The product has accurately dosed [ no hot spot ] it can be used IV / oral / smoke / snort.”
The Meds4U network primarily sold painkillers via their site USPainkillers. However they also offered Viagra and Cialis (ED medication) along with a dangerous prescription-only weight loss medication (Phentermine) that must be taken with medical supervision. Information on the Got Milk site concerning the location of the pharmacy or “About Us” descriptions were limited or non-existent.
As the joint FDA/DEA warning noted about these websites: “Patients who buy prescription medicines, including opioids, from illegal online pharmacies may be putting their health at risk because the products, while being marketed as authentic, may be counterfeit, contaminated, expired or otherwise unsafe. Additionally, several of these websites offer opioids online without a prescription, posing significant risks to patients.”