In online pharmacy news, the major story today is that FedEx was indicted for distributing controlled prescription drugs for Internet pharmacies to people who did not have valid prescriptions. FedEx claims it is not guilty and that its indictment and potential prosecution threaten a key principle of its business ethics and federal law: don’t open the mail. FedEx also says that for years they have asked the DEA for a list of targeted illegal online pharmacies but have not received one and that it cannot be expected to act as a law enforcement agency. The U.S. Department of Justice alleges that FedEx specifically “conspired” with two online pharmacies selling controlled drugs without proper prescriptions.
I’m departing from this media hot topic (better you read it in Bloomberg, USA Today, etc) to give you some backstory on controlled drugs and Internet sales. Our blog’s usual focus is on consumers seeking non-controlled prescription drugs online, and the PharmacyChecker.com Verification bans online pharmacies that sell controlled without a valid prescription, and all international online pharmacies that sell controlled drugs into the U.S. However, some Americans try to obtain prescription narcotics and other controlled drugs without a prescription online, which can turn out deadly. (more…)
The dangers of “rogue” international online pharmacies that sell fake or substandard medication go beyond just those affecting your health. Rogues are also known for playing loose with your personal information, including fraudulently charging your credit card or even selling the information to other scammers.
The DEA has issued a press release warning about criminals impersonating DEA special agents in an attempt to extort Americans who may have purchased medication from disreputable websites. The scammers, posing as DEA agents, call consumers and inform them that they have committed a crime in their online or telephone purchase of pharmaceuticals, sometimes citing illegal drug importation. The scammer then insists that the consumer pay a “fine” or face criminal prosecution. The reality is that DEA agents will never personally call a person to demand any form of payment. If you receive one of these bogus calls just refuse their demand and report the rogue activity to the DEA.
Keep in mind that the DEA is primarily concerned with controlled substances, such as Ambien and Oxycontin. Any penalties for ordering non-controlled medication would be served by the FDA and the FDA has never prosecuted or fined an individual for personally importing medications.
If you’re looking for a safe, international online pharmacy, one that will only sell you genuine medication and protract your personal and financial information, then stick to PharmacyChecker.com-verified sites. You can view a list of some verified pharmacies on our website.
The DEA seeks to shutdown a major Walgreen’s distribution center in Jupiter, Florida. As part of its investigation of Walgreens, the DEA found that one of its pharmacies was supplied 3271 bottles of oxycodone, a highly abused narcotic, during a 40-day period in a town with less than 3000 people. It appears that Walgreens knew about supply abuses but did not heed the warnings until confronted by DEA. One email obtained during the investigation shows an employee confused about how the receiving pharmacy could “even house this many bottles.”
The prescription drug abuse crisis in the United States is a domestic not international or “foreign pharmacy” distribution problem. In fact, reputable international online pharmacies, based in Canada or elsewhere, do not sell controlled substances to Americans. When it comes to the Internet, Americans should use extreme caution if ordering controlled substances online by only ordering from licensed U.S. pharmacies with the proper DEA registration and in compliance with the Ryan Haight Online Pharmacy Consumer Protection Act.
A recent article in The Muskegon Chronicle warns of a new scam against consumers who buy prescription drugs online. The Chronicle reports:
Some people who bought prescriptions online later received calls from someone claiming to be an agent of the Drug Enforcement Agency, who demanded they wire a “fine” to avoid being arrested.
Anyone receiving a telephone call from a person claiming to be a DEA special agent or other law enforcement official seeking money should refuse the demand and report the threat by calling 1-877-792-2873.
While buying drugs online from Canada and other countries is, under most circumstances, technically illegal, individuals who import non-controlled products for their own personal use are not prosecuted. There is no reason whatsoever that a DEA or FDA agent would contact someone who purchased controlled or regular prescription drugs online asking for, or demanding payment of, a fine. Just as the article suggests, if you are targeted in this fake DEA scam, please report the threat to law enforcement officials immediately.
As a reminder, reputable international online pharmacies do not sell controlled substances to Americans. Federal law, under the Ryan Haight Online Pharmacy Consumer Protection Act of 2008, mandates that only U.S. pharmacies with a DEA license can sell controlled substances online, pursuant to a valid prescription based on face-to-face consultation with a licensed U.S. physician. Learn more about buying controlled substances online.