As I’ve written many times, though technically illegal, patients are not prosecuted for importing medication for their own use. I like how the National Academy for State Health Policy phrases it:
“The FDA chooses to exercise enforcement discretion to not prosecute individuals who fill their prescriptions ex-U.S. so long as the drugs are for personal use and the amount does not exceed a personal-use threshold of 90 days.”
But that courtesy does not (and in many cases should not) extend to people who illegally import wholesale quantities or who import for re-sale of any kind. These people get busted. That’s precisely what happened to a New Hampshire couple, John Hayes and Plabpleung Hayes, who ended up pleading guilty to illegally importing wholesale quantities of medication and reselling it in the U.S.
This illegal drug importation threatens public health and should stand in stark contrast to filling a personal prescription from a pharmacy in Canada or other countries. Ordering medication internationally can be of great help to people who can’t afford medication here in the U.S. and should not be confused with illegal drug importation for re-sale. (more…)
Tagged with: DEA, DOJ New Hampshire, Enforcement, misbranded, wholesale importation
In online pharmacy news, the major story today is that FedEx was indicted for distributing controlled prescription drugs for Internet pharmacies to people who did not have valid prescriptions. FedEx claims it is not guilty and that its indictment and potential prosecution threaten a key principle of its business ethics and federal law: don’t open the mail. FedEx also says that for years they have asked the DEA for a list of targeted illegal online pharmacies but have not received one and that it cannot be expected to act as a law enforcement agency. The U.S. Department of Justice alleges that FedEx specifically “conspired” with two online pharmacies selling controlled drugs without proper prescriptions.
I’m departing from this media hot topic (better you read it in Bloomberg, USA Today, etc) to give you some backstory on controlled drugs and Internet sales. Our blog’s usual focus is on consumers seeking non-controlled prescription drugs online, and the PharmacyChecker.com Verification bans online pharmacies that sell controlled without a valid prescription, and all international online pharmacies that sell controlled drugs into the U.S. However, some Americans try to obtain prescription narcotics and other controlled drugs without a prescription online, which can turn out deadly. (more…)
Tagged with: DEA, FedEx, Prescription Narcotic, Ryan Haight
The dangers of “rogue” international online pharmacies that sell fake or substandard medication go beyond just those affecting your health. Rogues are also known for playing loose with your personal information, including fraudulently charging your credit card or even selling the information to other scammers.
The DEA has issued a press release warning about criminals impersonating DEA special agents in an attempt to extort Americans who may have purchased medication from disreputable websites. The scammers, posing as DEA agents, call consumers and inform them that they have committed a crime in their online or telephone purchase of pharmaceuticals, sometimes citing illegal drug importation. The scammer then insists that the consumer pay a “fine” or face criminal prosecution. The reality is that DEA agents will never personally call a person to demand any form of payment. If you receive one of these bogus calls just refuse their demand and report the rogue activity to the DEA.
Keep in mind that the DEA is primarily concerned with controlled substances, such as Ambien and Oxycontin. Any penalties for ordering non-controlled medication would be served by the FDA and the FDA has never prosecuted or fined an individual for personally importing medications.
This scam is nothing new, and is a reminder that Americans looking to purchase medication from international online pharmacies should be aware of the difference between a potentially dangerous pharmacy and a legitimate one. You can view information on how to identify a fake online pharmacy here. Also, keep in mind that reputable international online pharmacies do not sell controlled drugs to Americans.
If you’re looking for a safe, international online pharmacy, one that will only sell you genuine medication and protract your personal and financial information, then stick to PharmacyChecker.com-verified sites. You can view a list of some verified pharmacies on our website.
Tagged with: DEA, online pharmacy telephone scam, rogue online pharmacies