The FDA once again pitched in last week with other international regulators to crack down on illegal and counterfeit drugs being peddled over the internet. The FDA, Interpol and other authorities seized drugs, shut down some websites and made some arrests.
The FDA has for years been chasing after illegal online pharmacies that sell unapproved, sometimes counterfeit, drugs to consumers. In a new twist on that scheme, the FDA brought a case against a man who worked for an Indian company that was telemarketing directly to consumers prescription drugs made outside the U.S.
A report by Deutsche Welle says roughly half of the prescription drugs sold online are fake, and Russia is quickly becoming a major source of bogus medications.
A cancer center in Texas has pleaded guilty to using foreign-made versions of Roche's cancer drug Avastin on patients.
More counterfeit Botox has made its way into the U.S. and, the FDA thinks, into physician offices. The agency is warning providers that they need to make sure they don't have any of it because it is believed to be unsafe.
The FDA has rolled up yet another doctor in its campaign to punish practitioners who knowingly bought unapproved foreign drugs on the cheap, taking the risk of giving patients ineffective or even counterfeit medications, which some of them ended up doing.
Federal authorities in Canada last week raided the Winnipeg headquarters of CanadaDrugs.com but declined to say what prompted the raid, citing a court-ordered confidentiality order.
The FDA and Justice Department has extracted a half-million-dollar settlement from a California oncologist who is among doctors found to be buying unapproved cancer drugs and then charging state and federal programs for FDA-approved treatments. The agreement comes just weeks after a Kentucky doctor pleaded guilty to charges of doing the same thing.
Earlier this month the FDA stopped a shipment of what it believed to be Cialis manufactured in Australia that it said contained improper ingredients. Cialis maker Eli Lilly, however, said the product appeared to be counterfeit. It made no Cialis in Australia. Now the FDA is saying it has found Cialis fakes being shipped in the mail and is warning consumers to beware.
Organized crime has moved into selling counterfeit and compromised prescription drugs in Europe, exploiting the mishmash of customs laws and weak points in some border protection. Those weaknesses allowed the "Mafia" to get fake manifests, use suspect wholesalers, and sell counterfeits of Roche's Herceptin and other cancer drugs across Europe.