PORTLAND, Ore., June 8, 2011 /PRNewswire-USNewswire/ -- A new report criticizes the US Drug Enforcement Administration for not doing enough about rogue online pharmacies selling addictive medications without a valid prescription requirement.
The report, issued by Internet pharmacy monitoring service LegitScript.com, analyzes the DEA's implementation of the Ryan Haight Online Pharmacy Consumer Protection Act.
The 2009 law was named after an 18-year old who died after purchasing Vicodin and Xanax over the Internet without a valid prescription. Introduced by Senators Dianne Feinstein (D-CA) and Jeff Sessions (R-AL), the law gave the DEA new powers to fight illegal online pharmaceutical sales.
According to the report, DEA officials had filed no cases under the new law as of late 2010. The study cites senior DEA officials as stating, in late 2010, that "the Internet is (no longer) as big of a problem"...and that "(the DEA) has not found many Internet pharmacies selling controlled substances."
But the LegitScript study calls the DEA's statements into question, identifying 1,000 rogue Internet pharmacies actively promoting controlled substances without a prescription to US residents, in most cases without any age verification.
The report follows a May 2011 study by Massachusetts General Hospital that showed prescription drug abuse increasing fastest in regions with the greatest expansion in high-speed Internet access. That study argued that increased access to rogue Internet pharmacies was to blame.
LegitScript's President, John Horton, said, "We're issuing this report because the DEA continues to take the unsupportable position that the rogue Internet pharmacy is all-but-solved. Meanwhile, these Internet drug dealers continue to operate with impunity, laughing all the way to the bank. Simply put, the DEA has failed to use the tools Congress gave it to fight this problem."
The study argues that most of the illicit websites are subject to US jurisdiction. "It is entirely reasonable to ask the DEA why these websites remain online," adds the report.
Francine Haight, mother of Ryan Haight, said, "I have always had the support of DEA over the years. They fought so hard to get Ryan's bill passed, so that they would have the tools to shut down these Internet Pharmacies. But, I agree wholeheartedly, they must fight even harder to shut down the Internet drug dealers that are killing our kids and destroying families across the country."
LegitScript.com is the only Internet pharmacy monitoring program recognized by the National Association of Boards of Pharmacy, and works with government agencies worldwide, search engines and other Internet companies to monitor online pharmaceutical sales.
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