The DEA seeks to shutdown a major Walgreen’s distribution center in Jupiter, Florida. As part of its investigation of Walgreens, the DEA found that one of its pharmacies was supplied 3271 bottles of oxycodone, a highly abused narcotic, during a 40-day period in a town with less than 3000 people. It appears that Walgreens knew about supply abuses but did not heed the warnings until confronted by DEA. One email obtained during the investigation shows an employee confused about how the receiving pharmacy could “even house this many bottles.”
The prescription drug abuse crisis in the United States is a domestic not international or “foreign pharmacy” distribution problem. In fact, reputable international online pharmacies, based in Canada or elsewhere, do not sell controlled substances to Americans. When it comes to the Internet, Americans should use extreme caution if ordering controlled substances online by only ordering from licensed U.S. pharmacies with the proper DEA registration and in compliance with the Ryan Haight Online Pharmacy Consumer Protection Act.
Senator Charles Schumer (D-NY) is calling for a crackdown on rogue online pharmacies to curtail prescription drug abuse. Senator Schumer’s emphasis is on stopping online pharmacies that sell drugs without a prescription, particularly addictive drugs, such as Adderall and Xanax, which are controlled substances. We commend Senator Schumer on his actions. Since we first began our own work in 2002, a key requirement for an online pharmacy to be approved in the PharmacyChecker.com Verification Program has been that it require a valid U.S. prescription before dispensing any drug to an American. We also require that any pharmacy selling controlled substances to Americans be based in the U.S. and comply with the Ryan Haight Online Pharmacy Consumer Protection Act of 2008 – legislation intended to curb drug abuse.
This is not Senator Schumer’s first call to arms regarding online pharmacies. In 2006, he co-sponsored the Internet Pharmacy Consumer Protection Act (S. 399), a bill to curb the sale of prescription drugs over the Internet without a valid prescription. A press release from Schumer’s office noted, “the bill is geared to domestic Internet pharmacies that sell drugs without a valid prescription, not international pharmacies that sell drugs at a low cost to individuals who have a valid prescription from their U.S. doctors.” Unfortunately, S. 399 never became law. (more…)