Steer clear of Rx drugs sold without prescription

Steer clear of Rx drugs sold without prescription

Consumers should not purchase prescription drugs from any source that offers them for sale without a prescription, FDA cautions.

The advice came last May, during an interagency investigation of several companies and individuals suspected of being involved in illegal distribution of prescription drugs.

FDA analyses of drugs obtained by undercover agents from 10 companies under investigation showed the following problems:

* drugs with subpotent concentrations of active ingredients

* drugs with superpotent concentrations of active ingredients

* drugs adulterated with other substances, some of which could pose a serious health risk

* drugs without the active ingredients they claimed to contain

* prescription drugs being distributed without proper medical supervision.

The companies involved are: Hospital Santa Monica, HMS Service Company, Pharmaceuticals International, International Pharmaceuticals, World Pharmaceuticals, Global Trading, Global Medical Information Services, Universal Metabolics, Universal Pharmaceuticals, Medigen, and Medicina Future. Consumers who have purchased drugs from these companies should consult their physicians.

FDA is conducting the investigation, along with the U.S. Customs Service, U.S. Internal Revenue Service, California Bureau of Narcotics and Enforcement, California Department of Justice, California Department of Health Services’ Food and Drug Branch, Florida Office of the State Prosecutor, Florida Department of Law Enforcement, and Florida Department of Health and Rehabilitative Services.

The investigation is focused on mail fraud, money laundering, smuggling, drug misbranding, and introducing unapproved and misbranded drugs into interstate commerce.

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