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FDA Announces Shutdown of 1,677 Illegal Websites Selling Medicines

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The U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) announced Thursday it has shut down 1,677 illegal online pharmacies, CNN reports. The websites sold counterfeit or substandard medications, or sold drugs without appropriate safeguards.

Additional websites received warnings, the article notes. More than $41 million worth of illegal medicines were seized, and 58 people were arrested. Some of the sites had names that were similar to legitimate pharmacy sites. For instance, the FDA closed Walgreens-Store.com. It was not associated with the pharmacy chain Walgreens, which runs Walgreens.com.

The United States government worked with more than 100 countries to shut down the online pharmacies. Many of them advertised drugs such as Viagra, Levitra and Celebrex.

“These products can have none of the active ingredient that people need for the treatment of their disease,” said FDA Commissioner Margaret Hamburg. “They can have too much or too little (of the ingredient); they can have toxic ingredients, and they can prevent patients from getting the actual medications that they badly need to treat their disease.”

Carmen Catizone, Executive Director of the National Association of Boards of Pharmacy, told CNN most of the illegal online pharmacies are based overseas, and present themselves as Canadian. “The fact of the matter is very few, if any, of these sites are actually based in Canada or (are) Canadian,” Catizone said. “In fact, they are located in China, India, Pakistan, around the world.” The group has created a list of online pharmacies it has accredited.

“Illegal online pharmacies put American consumers’ health at risk by selling potentially dangerous products. This is an ongoing battle in the United States and abroad, and the FDA will continue its criminal law enforcement and regulatory efforts,” John Roth, Director of the FDA’s Office of Criminal Investigations, said in a news release.

3 Responses to this article

  1. Review / March 25, 2014 at 4:37 pm

    The FDA shuts down 1,677 online pharmacies because they care about the peoples well-being is basically what this article is trying to imply….My BS detector is going off as should yours ( yes we all have one)..They shut them down because they are losing money hand over fist..This way more people have less options,but to buy their pills through their blood sucking ,money hungry pharmacies.

  2. Avatar of Nikos
    Nikos / March 10, 2014 at 10:05 am

    FDA are doing their job..good luck!

    • Jake turner / June 13, 2014 at 2:23 pm

      The FDA is doing their job, keeping only Big Pharma’s proven meds selling. The money they seized, was from struggling people trying to get their meds cheap, and the meds they seized, were the goods purchased. Score One for The Man! Obama-care, we love you and how easy you make it to see a doctor! Maybe if nasal spray wasn’t 128$ with ins, or my daughter’s acid re-flux medicine wasn’t 38$ an ounce, I would be proud of them seizing all that dope. But they got the heart meds, antibiotics, children’s meds, everything. Pfizer does have a licensed facility in Pakistan contracted to manufacture meds to standards. Everything I got was sealed and Pfizer made. Thanks guys!

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