FDA Shuts Down 1,677 Illegal Pharma Web Sites

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As part of the sixth annual International Internet Week of Action (IIWA), a global effort to combat the online distribution of counterfeit and illegal medical products, the U.S. Food and Drug Administration's Office of Criminal Investigations, in coordination with the U.S. Attorney's Office for the District of Colorado, seized and shut down 1,677 illegal pharmacy Web sites (h/t Help Net Security).

According to the FDA, many of the sites that were shut down appeared to be part of an organized criminal network that described its sites as "Canadian Pharmacies" and displayed fake licenses and certifications that the drugs they sold were "brand name" and "FDA approved."

Medicines sold by those sites included versions of Avandaryl, Celebrex, Levitra, Viagra and Clozapine.

"Illegal online pharmacies put American consumers' health at risk by selling potentially dangerous products," John Roth, director of the FDA's Office of Criminal Investigations, said in a statement. "This is an ongoing battle in the United States and abroad, and the FDA will continue its criminal law enforcement and regulatory efforts."