Illegal drug stores will have a hard time from now on thanks to the U.S. Food and Drug Administration initiative. After issuing 53 warning letters to these websites, the FDA decided to take active measures to close 4,402 online illegal drug stores. Fortunately, FDA is not alone in this war against the drug epidemic. The entire operation is called Pangea IX, and the Interpol leads it.
This operation is worldwide spread and includes law enforcement, customs agencies and regulatory authorities from over 100 countries. According to George Karavestos, director of FDA’s Office of Criminal Investigations, Pangea IX is the proof that FDA collaboration the international partners are committed to protecting every citizen from this plague.
Until now, thanks to the collaboration with Customs and Border Protection, around 800 parcels were intercepted after a series of thorough inspections at International Mail Facilities (IMFs). Furthermore, the agency declared that if these packages are found illegal, they will be destroyed.
In addition to this, the most common drugs that U.S. consumers illegally purchase from abroad are used to treat asthma, glaucoma, high cholesterol, narcolepsy, and depression. Moreover, in other countries, besides the United States, authorities also discovered illegal healthcare products and other powerful drugs used to tackle possibly fatal diseases.
Plus, Interpol underlined that authorities from Myanmar found illegal medication for cancer whereas in Singapore were found drugs for weight loss, infertility, pregnancy test kits, sleeping pills and anabolic steroids.
During Pangea VIII, one of the previous operations, 2,400 websites were closed, 20.7 million illegal drugs and supplements were confiscated, and 156 arrests were made thanks to the joint effort of agencies from 115 countries.
Until now, Pangea IX closed 4,932 websites, seized 12.2 million illegal drugs, 270,000 medical devices and made 393 arrests thanks to the initiative of 103 countries. This increase in the number of arrests and websites closed proves how efficient this operation is. On the other hand, it also reveals how critical the situation is and how widely this illegal drug market has spread.
Hopefully, these new regulations will discourage the people who are responsible for this online illicit drug selling. FDA and the other partners promised that they will double their efforts in order to put an end to this crisis.