Feds Crack Down on Illegal Online Pharmacies

Many prescription drug abusers have discovered how easy it is to use the Internet to obtain painkillers, stimulants and tranquilizers without a prescription. As part of an international crackdown on prescription drug abuse, the federal government has been taking action against online pharmacies that sell prescription drugs without requiring a prescription. In October, the U.S. Food and Drug Administration participated in a global effort to combat the online sale of illegal and counterfeit drugs. The effort, which was called Operation Pangea V, led to seizure of drugs valued at more $10 million and the shutdown of more than 18,000 illegal pharmacy websites.   Feds Target Google, FedEx and UPS   The U.S. Justice Department has targeted online pharmacies since 2005. The agency's focus has recently moved beyond individual website operators to the service providers that have enabled drug sales and deliveries. In 2011, Google agreed to pay $500 million to the Justice Department to settle charges that it displayed ads for Canadian companies that sold prescriptions illegally to U.S.…

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Google Prepares for Hefty Fine for Illegal Drug Ads

Google, the internationally-known search engine and online advertising company, is being investigated by federal regulators for displaying ads for illegal pharmacies that sell prescription drugs online.  These illegal pharmacies sell legitimate prescription drugs without a prescription as well as counterfeit drugs.  Now a recent Securities and Exchange System filing by Google indicates that the company is setting aside $500 million in the event that they are fined for their drug advertising practices.  This sum represents 22% of the company's net income of $2.3 billion. If Google is fined $500 million or more, it could the largest penalty of its type ever paid to the U.S. Department of Justice.  This reflects the enormity of the problem of online prescription drug sales.  A study by doctors at the University  of California and Massachusetts General Hospital found a link between the increase in prescription drug abuse between 2000 and 2007 and the increase in the number of homes with high-speed Internet access.  States with the most expansion in high-speed access had the…

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