Illegal Pharmacies Shut Down

1,700 Illegal Pharmacy Websites Shut Down

06.28.13 | By

More than 9,600 websites that illegally sell potentially dangerous, counterfeit drugs to patients were targeted this week by a partnership that included INTERPOL, the FDA, international regulatory and law enforcement bodies, as well as pharmaceutical companies. The partnership announced yesterday that 1,677 of the websites were seized and shut down. A total of $41 million worth of illegal counterfeit drugs worldwide were also seized as part of the effort.

The week-long crackdown – Operation Pangea  VI – took place from June 18 to June 25, 2013. The dangerous, fake drugs that were seized included treatments for many different conditions, including diabetes, arthritis, and high cholesterol.

Our industry has long supported efforts to crack down on counterfeit drugs and illegal online pharmacies. Back in March, 29 of the world’s largest pharmaceutical companies joined with INTERPOL to create a new public-private partnership to combat counterfeit medicines. We are also proud to support the Partnership for Safe Medicines, a group of not-for-profit organizations and individuals which seeks to protect consumers from counterfeit or contraband drugs. It’s great to see these efforts bearing fruit for patient health and safety.

Fake medicines are not only ineffective treatments; they can sometimes even contain “chalk, brick dust, paint, and even pesticides,” according to Pfizer Senior Scientist Amy Callanan. So where can one go to find a safe place to buy medicines online? Check out BeSafeRx, a resource from the FDA that allows patients to see if an online pharmacy is properly licensed.


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