The Food and Drug Administration (FDA) continuously takes steps to ensure that an online pharmacy operate in a legitimate manner but tracking all the spurious ones and getting them shut down. Internet pharmacies that run scams are a danger as they put the customer’s health at risk by supplying fake or counterfeit pills. This is an ongoing effort as newer places continue to spring up online in place of the old ones.
According to the FDA, the counterfeit drugs that were commonly found while closing down web pharmacies were Viagra, Accutane, Norplant, generic Tamiflu, and Baycip TZ. It is not just the operating of illegal pharmacies that is problematic, but many of these places violate the drug laws set by the US government. For instance, drugs sold exclusively as prescription medications in the US were available without the prescription. Data shows that just in the year 2010, counterfeit medications amounted to more than $75 billion. To understand how exactly they gets illegitimate pharmacies to shut down their operations, here are a couple of case studies.
Major crackdowns by the FDA on fake online pharmacies
A major online pharmacy operating in the North American region was repeatedly warned by the FDA regarding the sale of drugs manufactured outside the US. These were drugs that were not approved by the FDA and used for unapproved reasons as well. Despite the warnings, the website continues to operate through a number of domain names. However, FDA continues to track the operations of the rogue virtual pharmacy and detains shipments from time to time.
Likewise, an internet drugstore based in Israel has hundreds of domains that sold medications to customers in the US in violation of the FDA regulations. Some of the medications sold by this place were still under research and not yet passed successful clinic trials for them to be used by patients. The company was sent a seizure/injunction notice by the drug administration if these medications were not removed from their product listings.
The FDA has also intercepted another rogue distributor of drugs online. The person involved in this major scam was arrested and faces a fine of about $300, 000. The US FDA constantly tracks down the activities of such places and gets them shut down when the business is not run in a legitimate manner.
Choosing a safe and legitimate online drugstore
Despite the crackdown on online drugstores by the FDA, there are places that operate in a legitimate way within the guidelines. They are safe to use as they provide only the authentic FDA-approved medications to the buyers. There are ways to ensure that one uses the right internet pharmacy by doing some research on the place. Do not taken up by places that offer prescription medications that are too good to be true.
One should also look for other validation factors like
- license to sell drugs,
- availability of a physical address and telephone communication details,
- licensed pharmacist available,
- ask for prescription before filling out the order, etc.
All these help in choosing a safe place to order medications online.