As a participant in the operation Pangea V, a global cooperative for combating the online sale and distribution of potentially counterfeit and illegal medical products, FDA announced that it has taken action against more than 4,100 Internet pharmacies. According to the FDA's news release, the websites which have been involved in selling unapproved and potentially dangerous medicines are being aggressively targeted. In this process, the FDA sends Warning Letters to the operators of the identified websites and further follows up with the Registries, Internet Service Providers (ISPs) and domain Name Registrars (DNRs) informing them that these websites were selling products in violation of U.S. Law.
The medicines being sold from such internet pharmacies were declared by the FDA to be detrimental to public health becasue they contain active ingredients that are approved by FDA for use only under the supervision of a licensed health care practioner. In certain cases, these pharmacies were selling medicines that have previously been withdrawn from the U.S. market because of safety concerns.
In the wake of the meningitis outbreak linked to a compounding pharmacy in the state of Massachusetts, the FDA is more likely to continue taking aggressive actions against operations that impose a risk to public health. For such reasons, Internet pharmacy operations should diligently review their standard operations to ensure up to date compliance with the applicable State and Federal regulations.
The text of the FDA's Press Announcement can be found at the following link.