FDA Shuts Down Online Pharmacies: Dangerous Drugs Online

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By LadyofProcrastination on Wikimedia Commons

Be careful when purchasing prescription medication – you may get ingredients you didn’t bargain for. Image by LadyofProcrastination

As part of the 6th annual International Internet Week of Action (IIWA) June 18 to June 25, 2013, the FDA investigated 9,600 online pharmacies and shut down 1,677 illegal pharmacy websites during Operation Pangea VI.

The FDA focused on pharmacies using website addresses like ‘walgreens-store.com’ and ‘c-v-s-pharmacy.com’ that attempted to trick the consumer into believing the sites were associated with popular U.S. retailers of similar names.

Unregulated Online Pharmacies:Dangers

The sites seized by the FDA displayed fake licenses and certificates and they sold counterfeit “brand name” drugs imported from unsafe sources. Since many of these medications have never been evaluated by the FDA, they are potentially dangerous to consumer health.

Many of the prescriptions mailed to U.S. consumers did not include the federally required medication guides explaining the risks of the medications to consumers, and listing possible side effects.

Other medications sent to consumers were “super charged” versions that included “extra” pharmaceutical ingredients that had never been evaluated by the FDA and are not included in the versions sold in the US.

Why Does the FDA Need to Approve Everything? All Those Steps Make my Prescription Drugs Too Expensive!

Fake online pharmacies may sell expired medications, drugs that are not manufactured according to safe standards, or drugs that include dangerous ingredients, or aren’t labeled, stored or shipped properly. The FDA prevents health risks from these issues by shutting down the fake pharmacies.

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