Crackdown on online pharmacies
More than 1,500 sites shut down in worldwide enforcement action against sites illegally selling prescription drugs.
Instead of getting the advertised name brand drugs from Canada, consumers were actually getting counterfeits from other countries. Many of the sites claimed to have a variety of licenses and certifications and posted logos to create the illusion of legitimacy, the FDA said. "These websites also used certain major U.S. pharmacy retailer names to trick U.S. consumers into believing an affiliation existed with these retailers," the agency said.
Here are some examples of sites with names intended to dupe consumers (all now have a banner from the FDA showing the sites have been seized): canadianhealthandcaremall.com, walgreens-store.com, and www.c-v-s-pharmacy.com.
Officials said buying from these pharmacies can be dangerous since there is no way to know whether you're getting a legitimate product or fake being sold by a crook in some far off land.
"Illegal online pharmacies put American consumers' health at risk by selling potentially dangerous products," said John Roth, director of the FDA’s Office of Criminal Investigations. "This is an ongoing battle in the United States and abroad, and the FDA will continue its criminal law enforcement and regulatory efforts."
Among the drugs seized in the crackdown were "Generic Celebrex," altered versions of erectile dysfunction drugs Levitra and Viagra, and the schizophrenia medicine clozapine. None of these versions have been FDA-approved.
The FDA also warned that on top of potential health problems caused by taking such drugs, using these sites also opens consumers to a variety of frauds -- including identity theft -- as well as computer viruses.
To help consumers identify whether they are dealing with an illegal site and help them find a legitimate one, the FDA created a guide: BeSafeRx: Know Your Online Pharmacy.
More from MSN Money:
I am a senior on social security with serious arthritis....last year I was prescribed Celebrex which has been a tremendous help. The drug company that makes Celebrex was kind enough to help me out with the medication but when our illustrious president gave seniors a
raise (30 dollars) per month it made me ineligible for the company help and caused me to have to pay $131.00 per month for Celebrex
from Walmart which by the way is the most reasonable out there.
Someone suggested I call Canada drugs and see if I could get Celebrex from them...I did and they had a generic for the drug ( which is
not available in America) and I have been buying from them since then.....Now they are gone and what are we supposed to do for
What kind of system makes Americans go to Canada for meds that are made in America???
Big pharma doesn't want us to get our drugs for cheap.
Us Americans are the ones that pay for all the R&D to make the new drugs so everyone else can get them cheaper.
The FDA is just looking out for them so they can keep making hundreds of millions in profits.
In dec 2012 they had a 41.9% profit margin on 2.44 billion in sales do you want them to give that up????? lol
This much is certain: pharmaceutical companies, insurance companies, doctors and hospitals do not want anybody cutting into their business
The U.S, government is not protecting the American consumer, the congress is bought by pharmaceutical lobbyist, drugs here should be the same or cheaper than in Canada. How can a U.S. pharmaceutical charge more for it's drugs in the U.S.
Here the government don't get to bid on the drugs, that got wrote into the medicare prescription bill.
The buying power of the government if allowed to bid would drive the cost of these drugs down.
They are not going after the online pharmacy for selling illegal prescription drugs, they are shutting down the cheap Canadian drugs for their pharmaceutical lobbyist that stick cash in their pockets.
We have this problem because most people do not want to socialize medicine. If medicine were socialized (like it is in Canada, duh), we would not have to pay as much for medication.
You cannot complain about the way the government handles such things and praise Canada, and then turn around and dis the idea of socialized medicine. Do you want socialized medicine or not? Pick--but then live with the ramifications of your decisions.
Why are drugs so much more expensive in the US? Why is the US paying for the entire world's drug development costs?
The answer: The insurance system. The most inefficient and anti-free market system on the planet.
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