DEA and FDA Warn Website Operators Illegally Offering Opioids for Sale

DEA and FDA Warn Website Operators Illegally Offering Opioids for Sale

WASHINGTON – The U.S. Drug Enforcement Administration and the U.S. Food and Drug Administration have issued warning letters to four website owners of rogue online pharmacies offering to distribute or dispense controlled substances, including opioids, and advertising their sale in violation of federal law. This is the first time the agencies have issued such letters jointly. Combined, these website operators run 10 websites engaged in illegal activity.

“Issuing these warning letters is not only an effort to deter the availability of dangerous illegal opioids, but it is also a testament to the close cooperation between DEA and FDA,” said Acting Administrator Uttam Dhillon. “We will continue to attack organizations that facilitate the sale of dangerous drugs, putting profit over public safety.”

Opioid addiction and abuse have created an immense public health crisis with a staggering death toll. In 2017, there were 47,600 opioid overdose victims in the United States, which accounted for nearly 70 percent of all drug overdose deaths. According to the National Association of Boards of Pharmacy, there are currently tens of thousands of illicit online pharmacies. Given the severity of the opioid epidemic, the easy availability of opioids via the internet poses significant risks to U.S. consumers. Preventing rogue online pharmacies from further flooding our communities with opioids is critical to protecting the American public from harm.

“As the FDA works to forcefully tackle the opioid crisis on all fronts, we cannot allow rogue online pharmacies to continue to fuel the crisis by illegally offering opioids for sale and circumventing the important safeguards that have been put in place for opioids to help protect the public health,” said Acting FDA Commissioner Ned Sharpless, M.D. “Today’s effort is also noteworthy because, while the FDA partners regularly with the DEA, this is the first time we have issued joint warning letters with them. We remain committed to using all available regulatory and enforcement tools to stop the illicit flow of opioids online.”

The website owners receiving the letters are Divyata, Euphoria Healthcare Pvt Ltd., JCM Dropship and Meds4U.

The DEA and FDA urge these operators to immediately cease offering for sale drugs in violation of federal law to U.S. consumers. Website operators have 15 days to notify DEA and FDA of corrective action and remedial steps taken to address violations and prevent their recurrence. Failure to address violations may result in legal action.

The U.S. Department of Justice’s Narcotic and Dangerous Drug Section attorneys assigned to DEA’s Special Operations Division and Policy Unit provided substantial assistance in drafting the warning letters sent to these websites.

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Authored by: Staff

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Missy

How do you send a letter to illegal online pharmacies who constantly change names and don’t have actual physical addresses? Maybe they sent an email?
Maybe trying to scare these “ghosts sites” into disappearing into cyberspace? All I know is, when the DEA speaks you can be sure they’re lying! 🤥

JL3

Well heck I guess the governments next “logical” step will be to shut down the internet. I mean think of all the lives they will be saving. Isn’t nice to know the government is doing God’s work for us?

Theresa L. Negrete

Gee! Too bad they’re being caught! At least some of us are getting the relief we need! These rogue Pharmacists won’t call me an addict, they won’t drug test me like an addict and they’ll ctually be kind as long as I’m a customer. Unlike what I and I know many of us have experienced with our Doctors, Nurses, Insurance Companies, Pharmacists, Government Officials and more! I hope the rogue Pharmacists call me too!

Rosalind Rivera

I’ve received calls from these pharmacies in the past and have either hung up on them, told them I’m not interested or asked how they’ve gotten my number. How stupid of me! How do I these places? Unlike my pain management doctor who is being terrorized by these agencies I can finally get relief one way or another. The next time they call, I will most definitely listen to what they have to say!

Rosalind Rivera

This is a good thing for controlling drug abusers and I hate to say this but perhaps not a good thing for those in chronic and intractable pain that have reached the point of willing to take risks because the pain is so bad that they would rather be dead anyway. Once again, the fault of this attitude lies with the FDA, CDC AND THE DEA! Had they not put in place the cruel and homicidal statutes that they have in denying legitimate pain patients their rightful and most necessary pain medications, this would not have become an issue in the first place, at least not for pain patients that follow their doctor’s recommendations and take their pain medications as prescribed. I have not reached that point however rather than seeking relief from back alley drug pushers I can absolutely see online pharmacies as an alternative.

Thomas Kidd

Big pile of [edit]. If I could I would leave this evil country. This doesn’t make sense at all.

If DEA / FDA most important protecting the public then why name the illegal websites publicly? It’s like telling some dumbass teenager hey try this but we want to say they only killed 47000 people but you might get lucky. When does the DEA send out letters? And then for the FDA to say they partner with them to send out letters what were they trying to do pull together money to save on cost of stamps ?sounds incredibly stupid. Sorry my opinion.

Since the DEA kn about/names of so called illegal Pharmacy online then like I said why send them letters? They have the technology to locate these people’s website locations of said house location and shut them down why send letters? Makes no sense. Sounds like they’re sending out feelers by naming so-called websites to draw in a bigger catch. Since they know said websites they have the technology to hit everyone that’s been contacting the said websites. Weird they go after doctors who go to the same office day after day yet send a heads up letter, I like to remind you that means it has to be mailed to an address too kindly give a warning cease and desist you’re in legal operations or we’re going to come bust you. Bizarre ! Yet these are the manufacturers of so said drugs that killed thousands of people from overdoses and so they’re sent a postcard please stop what you’re doing. LOL. Gov finally found bin Laden but willing to give these illegal Pharmacy a chance. I don’t believe it.

What a joke importantly putting safeguards for the public by sending letters 2 Rogue Pharmacy , they will just move elsewhere change their name & start over again. To look like they R doing important wrk by announcing this B.S protection when in fact they’re causing failed safeguards for intractable pain persons BC people need their pain treated & can no longer find it thru a physician BC threats of imprisonment & it cause the reduction or no treatment at all for intractable pain. Again going in circles. Instead of sending letters why aren’t they shutting them down & putting them in prison , I don’t get it ! DEA burst into Physician’s office & immediately shut them down & take everything including freezing their assets. But DEA be kind to the Rogue Pharmacy & give them a warning letter. What B.S .The suffering of
intractable pain people & putting pressure on the most innocent people of all that are trying to have access to care & do it within the law but instead R forced to search Elsewhere for care. Thanks to the CDC, FDA, DEA what a joke letters. we R treated like criminals on some database with our address w/our doctors name.

Debbie Nickels Heck, MD

This sounds terrible coming from a physician I FULLY acknowledge, BUT given the MILLIONS of LEGITIMATE pain patients who can’t get adequate LEGITIMATE opioid prescriptions from LEGITIMATE sources, I have to be curious as to how many people utilizing these ILLEGAL sites are LEGITIMATE pain patients forced to utilize them because their LEGITIMATE physicians have been forced out of their LEGITIMATE pain practices and they have nowhere else to turn. It’s a question I REALLY DON’T like proposing BUT the ALPHABET AGENCIES have done their sting operations on TOO MANY GOOD DRS to the point good people are being forced into doing things they’d never have considered before JUST to get out of bed.

old goat

That’s pretty drastic considering all they have done to stop Illicitly Manufactured Fentanyl Analogues that are doing 90% of the killing is a TEMPORARY ORDER banning the importation and they waited till 2018 to do it. These people are supposed to be one of the premiere drug enforcement organizations in the world, so why are they 5 years behind what’s actually going on and continuing to bark up the wrong tree? Because in the 50 years since their inception they have never been able to affect addiction. It cant be legislated or regulated. They could outlaw pharmaceutical opioids tomorrow and it would never have any bearing on addiction, or as we have all seen, on the rate of overdose deaths. Because NO HEALTH ISSUE is successfully treated through Law Enforcement. Why are we allowing them to waste our tax money. An action without results is a waste. Why is no one noticing there are no positive results from the measures they take? An action is not successful just because you can take it, it has to have results. The DEA is the most impotent government agency in the history of the country. They take plenty of actions, but never, ever, is there a positive result from their actions. Just more suffering and dying…

Cher

What? I could have gotten vicodin online? No way. These must be on the dark web and I don’t know where that is. They recently put out the 2018 deaths and 66% was fentanyl/heroin deaths, with the rest falling elsewhere. I’m guessing these places aren’t selling vicodin, but selling fentanyl pills?? Probably not all, but many. I just don’t want to suffer every freaking day. How does our gov let this happen?

https://www.latimes.com/opinion/story/2019-08-30/fentanyl-opioids-overdose-deaths-treatment-sales

Curiously I was sent an ad last week from an online pharmacy, which claimed there were 4 legal reasons that an Opioid could be purchased without a prescription, and invited me to become a Member of the online pharmacy to learn the legal loophole. I had better things to do with my time and deleted the message.

What’s curious about that timing, is that some website hosting companies may not have realized that they were selling web space for an illegal business, if the websites pretended that they were exploiting a legal loophole.

Since the DEA is infamous for duplicity, a concern that other commenters raise below, about the timing of the move, prompts this suggestion.

No law requires the DEA to prosecute crimes it observes.

It is possible that DEA used these online pharmacies to compile lists of patients who bought drugs with a forged prescription, no prescription, or a prescription that CVS refused to fill.

Are they spying on millions of Americans because they can?

The longer we wait to litigate for our Constitutional rights, the longer we must suffer DEA tyranny.

Plus,

Think about the patient who is driven to these online pharmacies!
Such businesses are the last resort. How long can someone last in that state of anxiety?
The DEA and FDA employees making good money, vacations, retirement, healthcare including pain care due to elite status.
The federal agencies do not seem to care to address the factors that cause these online pharmacies to flourish.
They are all creating crime in order to perpetuate their make work jobs. It will become the end of our society.
Do what you need to do in order to survive.

Survival has been criminalized!

Maureen M.

Well then, why aren’t they going after them like that have gone after doctors and ‘raid’ and destroy their business locations?! It sounds like they are only giving them a lap on the wrist.

Karen Smiley

REALLY??? They didn’t do that BEFORE NOW???

Karen Smiley

REALLY? They didn’t try that FIRST???

James McCay

Yeah, this announcement is only THREE YEARS TOO LATE! Wouldn’t most of you thought this was DONE ALREADY?

First they let the CDC/DEA KILL OFF SO MANY Chronic Intractable Pain patients (by having their paranoid doctors CUT THEM OFF & they had no option but to COMMIT SUICIDE) who had ABSOLUTELY NOTHING to do with overdose deaths.

This has gone so far BEYOND IGNORANT INSANITY that there’s no longer a term that fits the CDC/DEA actions & then the reaction of nearly ALL PAIN DOCTORS.

Mine said to my face two months after cutting my HIGH DOSE METHADONE (of 16-years) “I BROKE MY HIPPOCRATIC OATH BY HURTING MY PATIENTS!”. What did he want ME to do? Slap him, because that’s certainly what I wanted to do. HE LIED OUTRIGHT TO ALL HIS PATIENTS (actually himself) SO HE’D FEEL BETTER THE DAYS HE CUT ALL HIS PATIENTS OPIOIDS DOWN BY 10%-50% SAYING “THE NY ATTORNEY GENERAL MADE ME DO IT!”.
! knew that was a lie, so I called the NY Attorney General Office (3-times), & the NY Narcotics Bureau & both said “We never involve ourselves in what doctors do or don’t prescribe, or at what doses to their patients because that’s ILLEGAL and is ONLY between the doctor and the patient!”. The Attorney General told me “Perhaps your doctor thought that no one would call us which is why he used us as an excuse.”. THAT’S EXACTLY WHAT HAPPENED, but he obviously doesn’t know me as well as he thought he did!

I SAVED ALL OF HIS PATIENTS (including myself)!

This craziness needs to be put to a stop! Why has no one filed a Class Action suit against the CDC & DEA for falsely representing their intentions on the issues in the 2016 CDC Opioid Guidelines? We all now know this CAUSED nearly all doctors to CUT their patient’s Opioids (or CUT them OFF COMPLETELY) due to NO REASON other than FEAR of the doctor’s themselves getting in trouble for DOING THEIR JOBS CORRECTLY (which is an exact quote as how my 20-year Pain Management doctor described this cluster[edit]).

Jane Gill

Will they Ever stop putting prescription drug deaths along Fentanyl and street heroin overdoses.. Answer sadly No! Then their war on chronic pain sufferers loses its Media Headlines! I am So Sick Of seeing this stat.! Sorry but if you asked 90% of Americans “ Do you believe this statistic represents deaths from prescription overdoes?” They would say yes! Sadly the war on us is ending No Time Soon! In fact,my doctor says that he sees a time that only if you are hospitalized or just had surgery or SOME cancers will pain medicine be an option! However he says the BIG push is now POT! Everyone should read if you can find coverage of the Huge problems Denver is having. This is not Woodstock Pit it is 80% THC! Interesting the media in Denver and Ca. Refuses to publish the stories from the ER. So WE remain the choice TARGET!:(

Duane B. Michaels

I entered a post recently and it was too long to complete my story. Anyone who makes judgment on the necessity of being prescribed opioids first of all needs to commit to forty-five plus years hard labor outdoors in the heat and cold. They need to experience over ten surgeries in their life. Then be injured on multiple occasions throughout that time causing severe stenosis of the spine, spinal fusions, rotator cuff tears and re-tears and live with years of suffering from doctors misdiagnosis of injuries that could have been addressed.

My name is Duane Michaels and I posted that I was in a tractor trailer accident in 2010. I was originally diagnosed with a broken sternum. They tried to make me go back to work. Workman’s comp and the company. I kept getting sent to physical therapy and complained they were continuously hurting me. I’ve always lived with pain at times and also have something neurological that causes my body to have intensely painful cramping type episodes. I say seizures and fhe doctors disagree. I’ve never take opioids for either.

The sad thing is that my cancer doctor found five broken ribs six months after the accident. Workers compensation tried to deny it but my previous CAT scan proved it. Years later after constanly complaing an MRI found my T-11 vertebrae compression fractured and lost height. Then T-9 disc wae herniated along with three others. This in combination with a worn down spine with lots of stenosis and C-3-4 and L-4-5 badly degenerated. All my T’s are degenerated too.

Now it’s been nine years of complaing that my impact was on my scapula/shoulder blade which broke my ribs, sternum, back and herniated discs. It’s taken until 2018 for an MRI to find a severe tear of my sub-scapularis along with five or six more tears. I’ve been suffering for years and its worst when lying down. It’s disabled me and I lost everything. I try to do things and end up in the hospital. The system is broken and addiction is not the problem !

Michael Smith

Warning letters for big dealers and jail time for users.it just goes to show you that in the United States if you’re going to be a criminal you have to go big.

Hayden

I really do not believe that ANY true pain management patient would seek to go “outside of federal law” to receive even what may be advertised as “legitimate” pain management medication unless it was truly a matter of life and death, however ,with the current 2016 CDC “guideline” for opioid prescribing physicians it has been repeatedly stated by ALL authorities from our state medical boards, HHS, DEA, etc. that a licensed, law abiding, physician with a DEA number. to prescribe opioids for LEGITIMATE, DOCUMENTED for years and decades pain management patients with medical issues that need MEDICATION to even attempt to function…..can be prescribed what we need. This is simply NOT the case! I do not condone ordering medication online without a prescription from your physician that actually knows your condition, examines you/we on a regular basis….in person, no more than I would condone using illicit opioids to manage pain but, that IS what the current “guideline” is causing patients to do. The illegal practices of these online dispensaries are in fact adding to our problems as pain management patients and in my opinion, should be shut down but, In the same manner of thinking, the CDC MUST “rethink” the guideline and make it perfectly clear to LEGALLY licensed pain MEDICATION prescribing physicians, that as the CDC states, are under no scrutiny to withhold a proper dosage of what each INDIVIDUAL legitimate patient needs to manage KNOWN pain generation in the human body. Deceit! PATIENTS, true, documented pain management patients ARE suffering, losing our jobs, homes, and even are and have taken their own lives because of the “guideline”. This is MY opinion……only.

Lori

Lol,is this a joke?