Impact of Recent Legal Victories on Counterfeit Prescription Drugs Examined
The Wall Street Journal on Tuesday examined the impact of recent legal victories against Web sites that sell counterfeit medications. Some experts said that although the legal victories are "encouraging," they "don't have a significant impact on illegal Internet drug sales," the Journal reports. According to the Journal, investigations into such Web sites are "limited by the extensive resources required to prosecute" them. The Journal cites a recent case against WorldExpress.com -- a San Diego-based Web site that allegedly sold counterfeit medications manufactured in India and imported from Mexico -- which required the cooperation of the Internal Revenue Service, FBI, the FDA Office of Criminal Investigation and two other federal agencies to shut down the site and obtain nine related arrests.
In addition, the "breadth and scope of counterfeiting operations" in the United States has "grown significantly," and the "sophistication of Internet drug vendors has made prosecution more difficult," the Journal reports. William Hubbard, FDA associate commissioner for policy and planning, called the WorldExpress.com case "another example of counterfeiters that are sophisticated, more organized and using multiple countries" to avoid prosecution (Won Tesoriero, Wall Street Journal, 8/10).