More than 1,000 online drug sites under FDA scrutiny
- As part of the International Internet Week of Action, FDA inspectors and other authorities have seized illegal drugs and medical devices received through post offices in Chicago, Miami and New York.
- The FDA also sent warning letters to operators of 400 websites that sell medications illegally and nine companies that distribute unapproved medical devices online.
- Some of the drugs being illegally sold online include Nolvadex, Meridia, Valium, Truvada and Advair Diskus.
In addition to selling drugs online that require physician oversight, online sellers have been selling medical devices for colon care, as well as dermal fillers. The health risks are substantial and hard to quantify; however, one example of what could go wrong is if an HIV-positive person chooses to take Truvada obtained online without physician oversight, resistance could render that individual difficult to treat and exacerbate viral potency long term.
In addition to health risks, however, there are other risks, including credit card fraud, identity theft and computer viruses. The effort to combat illegal online sales of drugs and medical devices is international and involves not only the FDA, but also INTERPOL.