FDA Warns Docs Who Buy Meds From Unapproved Sources

Emma Hitt, PhD

April 18, 2012

April 18, 2012 — Clinicians in several states have been warned by the US Food and Drug Administration (FDA) to stop purchasing medications from foreign or unlicensed suppliers that sell illegal prescription medications.

The FDA has sent letters to medical practices in 12 states who reportedly engaged in purchasing these illegal prescription medications.

"These medical practices are putting patients at risk of exposure to medications that may be counterfeit, contaminated, improperly stored and transported, ineffective, and dangerous," the FDA notes in a statement posted this week.

"To minimize the chance of patients receiving a counterfeit, unsafe, or ineffective medication, FDA is requesting that the medical practices stop administering drugs purchased from any foreign or unlicensed source," the agency says.

The FDA is emphasizing that medical practices buy directly from manufacturers or licensed US wholesale distributors. Wholesale drug distributor licenses can be verified by contacting the appropriate state agency, which the FDA lists on its Web site.

"The receipt of suspicious or unsolicited offers from unknown suppliers should be questioned, and extra caution should be taken when considering such offers," the agency adds.

Suspected criminal activity should be reported to FDA's Office of Criminal Investigations (OCI) by calling 1-800-551-3989 or visiting the OCI Web site.

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