The Food and Drug Administration (FDA) announced that it took action this week against over 1,050 websites that were illegally selling potentially dangerous, unapproved prescription medications and medical devices to consumers. The action was part of the Eighth Annual International Internet Week of Action (IIWA), a global cooperative effort to combat the unlawful sale and distribution of illegal and potentially counterfeit medical products on the Internet and led by INTERPOL.

The goal of this year’s international effort, called Operation Pangea VIII, was to identify the manufacturers and distributors of illegal prescription drug products and medical devices and remove these products from the supply chain. With other federal agencies, FDA inspectors screened and seized illegal drug products and medical devices received through International Mail Facilities (IMFs) in three U.S. cities during the IIWA. Overall 814 parcels were detained and referred to appropriate FDA offices for follow-up and those that were in violation of the Federal Food, Drug and Cosmetic Act were refused entry into the country. ,/p>

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Unapproved prescription drugs targeted in Operation Pangea VIII were promoted as FDA-approved generic versions of brand-name drugs and sold illegally by websites. These unapproved medications included “Generic Nolvadex,” “Generic Meridia,” “Generic Valium,” “Generic Truvada” and “Generic Advair Diskus.” Some of the devices sold illegally online and targeted were “The Ondamed System” and “Colon Care Products of PA Open System Colon Hydrotherapy Device (Grace),” along with illegal dermal fillers such as “Interfall Hydrogel polyacrylamide dermal filler,” “Dermafil hyaluronic acid dermal filler” and “Teosyal hyaluronic acid dermal filler.”

Illegal online pharmacies and illegal online medical device retailers can pose more than just health risks – credit card fraud, identity theft, computer viruses, and other criminal activities have been reported.

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