Have Questions?
We Have Answers!

Get Help - Find a Rehab Center Today

Speak with a certified drug and alcohol counselor

For help finding an addiction treatment center, Call us!

All calls are 100% confidential and free


100% Confidential Help Request

Contact us now to get immediate help: 1-877-882-9275

Article Summary

The FDA and DEA'S Fight Against Illegal Online Drug Sales

Law enforcement agencies are teaming up to address the problem of illegal online pharmaceutical sales. The Food and Drug Administration (FDA), Drug Enforcement Administration (DEA) are joining to form a task force called Operation Gray Lord. The task force is meant to aggressively pursue sellers of prescription narcotics, yet they acknowledge the difficulties that lie ahead. The task force will include officials from the Justice department, some local law enforcement agencies, and possibly top Canadian officials.

Illegal Distribution Online

Contrary to what many Internet users may think, Elizabeth Willis of the DEA commented, "If a prescription is written by a doctor based solely on information from an online questionnaire, it's not valid, so the distribution is illegal." Thus, the task force may target Internet Pharmacies based in the U.S. that have operated by hiring doctors to write prescriptions based on such questionnaires.

Thus far, only those selling the medications have been at risk of prosecution but, regulators are hinting that those who order the drugs may face prosecution. "It's illegal to import narcotics," Mark B. McClellan, the FDA commissioner, said in an interview. "We do have steps in place to intercept such products and to take further legal action"

Many of the target sites are based in countries where the sales are legal. Many of the packages bear fake customs certifications, which makes them especially difficult to track, but those that can be tracked and detected are being seized in Customs as they enter the country. Dr. McClellan stated, "Different kinds of drug imports carry different risks ... As they all come in unidentified packaging, it's difficult to separate one from the other."

Dangerous Addictions

Both the FDA and DEA say that, in the case of prescription narcotics, however, they worry that the drugs sold are actually what they claim to be — powerful opiates that can cause dangerous addictions.

"We think the nature of drug abuse in this country is evolving and is moving toward prescription narcotics," said John Taylor, the FDA's chief enforcement official.

With the formation of Operation Gray Lord, the phrase "buyer beware" becomes more relevant and important than ever as regards buying medications online. Not only do buyers run the risk of getting medications that aren't what they ordered and could be hazardous counterfeits, they also now run the risk of arrest.

National Non Profit Helpline - 1-877-882-9275
Our National Non Profit Helpline is a 24/7, 365-day-a-year treatment referral and information service for individuals and families faced with mental and/or substance use disorders.

All calls are strictly confidential

Our service provides referrals to licensed treatment facilities, support groups, and community-based organizations. You don't have to struggle alone with addiction. Help is just a phone call away. Call 1-877-882-9275 now to get the help you need and deserve.


Organizations We Support