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Authorities Shut Down 18K Online Pharmacy Sites In Crackdown Of Fake Drug Sales

“Police and regulators around the world have closed 18,000 online pharmacy sites in the past few days, in the largest ever clampdown on criminal gangs selling unauthorized medicines online,” the Financial Times reports. “Operation Pangaea V, coordinated over the past week by Interpol and involving authorities in 100 countries, led to the seizure of 3.7 million doses of unlicensed and counterfeit drugs worth more than £6.5 million [$10.5 million] and the arrests of 79 people,” the news service writes (Jack, 10/4). “The aim of this week’s Interpol crackdown … was to ‘disrupt and dismantle’ the internet networks which sell and distribute the bogus drugs,” according to the Daily Mail, which notes, “It’s claimed the producers are raking in millions of pounds through the illicit trade every month, with much of the money funneled back to organized crime syndicates in Russia” (Hodgekiss, 10/4). “This is the fifth year of a coordinated action against websites selling illegal and sometimes fake medicines,” the Guardian writes (Boseley, 10/4). “It is estimated £1.5 million [$2.4 million] of orders are placed globally every month,” BBC Radio 4’s “You and Yours” reports (Abbott, 10/4).

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Filling the need for trusted information on national health issues, the Kaiser Family Foundation is a nonprofit organization based in Menlo Park, California.