FDA and interpol seize counterfeit drugs and crack down on 400 web sites


The U.S. Food and Drug Administration, along with international partners, including Interpol took action against more than 1,050 websites that sell dangerous counterfeit medicine and medical devices, the agency said Thursday. Illegal and medical devices were seized worldwide, and warnings were sent to the operators of offending websites, the FDA said in a news release. If those sites continue to sell the dangerous products federal prosecutions are expected to ensue.

Counterfeit prescription drugs that claim to be generic versions of brand-name drugs that are sold illegally on the websites include generic Nolvadex, generic Meridia, generic Valium, generic Truvada and generic Advair Diskus, according to the FDA.

Mail screenings in Chicago, Miami and New York found that some of these counterfeit included antidepressants, hormone replacement therapies, sleep aids and drugs to treat erectile dysfunction, high cholesterol and seizures — were on their way to American consumers, the FDA said.

Fake medical devices sold on websites that were targeted include hyaluronic acid and other dermal fillers and “colon hydrotherapy” products. Dermal fillers are used for concealing facial wrinkles.

An international effort lead by Interpol involved drug and medical device seizures in other nations. The FDA sent warning letters to the operators of nearly 400 websites selling unapproved or misbranded prescription medicines to U.S. consumers, and to nine companies distributing unapproved medical devices online.

Jeffrey Newman represents whistleblowers