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U.S. Department of Health and Human Services

Drugs

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Letters to Doctors about Risks of Purchasing Medications from Foreign or Unlicensed Suppliers

 

FDA received information that the U.S. medical practices listed below purchased medications from foreign or unlicensed suppliers that sold illegal prescription medications. These medical practices are putting patients at risk of exposure to medications that may be unapproved, counterfeit, contaminated, improperly stored and transported, ineffective, and dangerous. To minimize the chance of patients receiving an unapproved, counterfeit, unsafe, or ineffective medication, FDA is requesting that the medical practices stop administering drugs purchased from any foreign or unlicensed source.
 
FDA urges the healthcare community to examine their purchasing practices to ensure that they buy directly from the manufacturer or from licensed wholesale drug distributors in the United States. FDA reminds healthcare professionals, pharmacies, and wholesalers/distributors that they are valuable partners in protecting consumers from the threat of unsafe or ineffective products that may be stolen, counterfeit, contaminated, or improperly stored and transported.  The receipt of suspicious or unsolicited offers from unknown suppliers should be questioned, and extra caution should be taken when considering such offers. 
 
Report any suspected criminal activity to FDA's Office of Criminal Investigations (OCI) by calling 1-800-551-3989 or visiting the OCI Web Site (http://www.fda.gov/OCI).
 
To verify a wholesale drug distributor is licensed in the state(s) where it is conducting business, use the link or contact information provided for each respective state at: http://www.fda.gov/Drugs/DrugSafety/DrugIntegrityandSupplyChainSecurity/ucm281446.htm
 
Statement update: September 21, 2012
 
On February 10, 2012, April 5, 2012, April 23, 2012, June 28, 2012, and September 10, 2012, FDA issued letters to medical practices in the United States that purchased unapproved medications from foreign suppliers.