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Larissa Doucette

Operation Pangea V, with participation from the FDA and international law enforcement and regulatory agencies, brought about the shutdown of more than 18,000 Web sites illegally marketing and distributing drug products. As part of Operation Pangea V, FDA sent warning letters to 4,100 Internet drug outlets, including Canada Drugs, peddling unapproved and potentially dangerous drug products, and “sent notices to Registries, Internet Service Providers (ISPs), and domain Name Registrars (DNRs) informing them that these websites were selling products in violation of U.S. law,” as reported in an FDA news release.

Operation Pangea V, took place September 25 through October 2, 2012 as part of the 5th annual International Internet Week of Action (IIWA), a global cooperative effort to combat the illegal online sales and distribution of potentially counterfeit and illegal medical products. “Internet pharmacies that illegally sell unapproved, counterfeit, or potentially adulterated or substandard drugs are an inherently international crime problem,” stated John Roth, director of the FDA’s Office of Criminal Investigation. Roth noted further that because “these criminals do not respect international borders, the international coordinated law enforcement response represented by Operation Pangea demonstrates that international cooperation is the best way to protect the American public from the risk of unsafe drugs.” During IIWA, FDA coordinated with INTERPOL, the World Customs Organization, the US Department of Homeland Security, and national health and law enforcement agencies from 100 participating countries. More information about Operation Pangea is available on INTERPOL’s website.