A federal grand jury in San Francisco has indicted FedEx for drug trafficking, USA Today reports. The company is accused of conspiring to deliver prescription drugs for illegal online pharmacies.
According to the indictment, the shipping company knew for a decade that illegal online pharmacies used their services. “While some Internet pharmacies were managed by well-known pharmacy chains that required valid prescriptions and visits to the patient’s personal physician, others failed to require a prescription before filling orders for controlled substances and prescription drugs,” a U.S. Sentencing Commission news release states. “These Internet pharmacies filled orders based solely on the completion of an online questionnaire, without a physical examination, diagnosis, or face-to-face meeting with a physician. Such practices violated federal and state laws governing the distribution of prescription drugs and controlled substances.”
According to prosecutors, government officials warned FedEx at least six times since 2004 that illegal Internet pharmacies used the company to deliver drugs.
FedEx was summoned to federal court in San Francisco for a July 29 hearing. No officers of the company were charged, the article notes.
In a statement, FedEx said it is innocent of the charges. “We’re proud to say that we have partnered with the FBI, the Department of Homeland Security, DEA, and other federal, state and local law enforcement teams around the world to help stop illegal drug activity and bring criminals to justice. These efforts include providing assistance to the DEA in combatting rogue internet pharmacies.”
The company said it repeatedly asked the government to provide a list of online pharmacies engaging in illegal activity. “Whenever DEA provides us a list of pharmacies engaging in illegal activity, we will turn off shipping for those companies immediately. So far the government has declined to provide such a list.”