Pangea VI International Enforcement Operation Shuts Down 9,600 Fake Online Pharmacies
Interpol-coordinated global operation targeted fake online pharmacy trade, netted over $41 million worth of counterfeit medication, and shut down more than 9,600 fake online pharmacies. Fake versions of drugs used to treat diabetes symptoms, arthritis, and schizophrenia were seized as part of the operation. 58 arrests have been made.
On June 27, 2013, Interpol announced the results of its 6th annual action against fake online pharmacies. With the help of enforcement agencies from 100 different countries, Operation Pangea VI was able to shut down close to 10,000 fake online pharmacies and interrupt the business operations of drug counterfeiters globally.
Interpol describes Operation Pangea as “an international week of action tackling the online sale of counterfeit and illicit medicines and highlighting the dangers of buying medicines online. Coordinated by INTERPOL, the annual operation brings together customs, health regulators, national police and the private sector from countries around the world.”
Operation Pangea was first staged by Interpol in November 2008, and has been conducted annually since then. The first Pangea week of action included just 10 participating countries, but participation has grown exponentially to the 100 countries participating in this year’s effort. Operation Pangea is aimed specifically at fake online pharmacy businesses and targets the three main components that allow these fake online pharmacies to conduct business: their Internet Service Provider (ISP), their payment systems and the delivery service they use.
In the United States, Operation Pangea was conducted by the U.S. Food and Drug Administration Office of Criminal Investigations, in coordination with the United States Attorney’s Office for the District of Colorado. Their efforts shut down 1,677 illegal pharmacy websites, many of whom posed as either Canadian pharmacies or outlets of genuine pharmacy businesses. The FDA reports that, “Many of these websites appeared to be operating as a part of an organized criminal network that falsely purported its websites to be ‘Canadian Pharmacies.’ These websites displayed fake licenses and certifications to convince U.S. consumers to purchase drugs they advertised as ‘brand name’ and ‘FDA approved.’ The drugs received as part of Operation Pangea were not from Canada, and were neither brand name nor FDA approved. These websites also used certain major U.S. pharmacy retailer names to trick U.S. consumers into believing an affiliation existed with these retailers.”
John Roth, director of the FDA’s Office of Criminal Investigations remarked at the conclusion of Operation Pangea that “Illegal online pharmacies put American consumers’ health at risk by selling potentially dangerous products. This is an ongoing battle in the United States and abroad, and the FDA will continue its criminal law enforcement and regulatory efforts. The agency is pleased to participate in Operation Pangea to protect consumers and strengthen relationships with international partners who join in this fight.”
Director Roth will be joining our speakers at this year’s Interchange 2013. Register toda
Source: Partnership For Safe Medicine