FDA, DEA jointly crack down on illegal opioid websites

The FDA and Drug Enforcement Administration sent joint letters to four online networks Sept. 30, warning each company to immediately stop illegally marketing opioids to Americans.  

This is the first time the FDA and DEA have jointly released warning letters. The letters were sent to four networks that collectively own ten websites: Divyata, Euphoria Healthcare Pvt, JCM Dropship and Meds4U. The letters warned the companies to stop selling unlicensed and misbranded opioid medicines, including tramadol, and requested responses within 15 business days detailing how the companies have addressed these violations. Companies that don't correct the violations will be subject to potential legal action.

"We will continue to attack organizations that facilitate the sale of dangerous drugs, putting profit over public safety," Uttam Dhillon, acting DEA administrator, said in a news release.

Illegal online pharmacies use the internet to distribute opioids because the risk of detection is significantly lower. Prescription medicines from illegal online pharmacies can be counterfeit, contaminated or expired, while several websites offering opioids do not even require a prescription. The websites can also involve credit card fraud, identity theft and computer viruses. These online pharmacies violate both the FDA's Federal Food, Drug, and Cosmetic Act and the DEA's Controlled Substances Act. 

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The FDA and Drug Enforcement Administration sent joint letters to four online networks Sept. 30, warning each company to immediately stop illegally marketing opioids to Americans.

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