FDA takes action against 53 websites marketing unapproved opioids

FDA reports that it has warned multiple online networks that they must stop illegally marketing unapproved and misbranded versions of opioid medications. In all, 9 online networks received warning letters, covering a total of 53 websites. "The FDA is taking additional steps to protect U.S.

FDA reports that it has warned multiple online networks that they must stop illegally marketing unapproved and misbranded versions of opioid medications. In all, 9 online networks received warning letters, covering a total of 53 websites. "The FDA is taking additional steps to protect U.S. consumers from illicit opioids by targeting the websites that illegally market them and other illicit drugs," said FDA Commissioner Scott Gottlieb, MD. "The internet is virtually awash in illegal narcotics and we're going to be taking new steps to work with legitimate internet firms to voluntarily crack down on these sales." To that end, the agency will host a meeting with internet stakeholders to identify new methods of working collaboratively with them to deal with these issues. The June 27 Online Opioid Summit will address topics including research into the ease with which illicit opioids can be purchased online and industry approaches to addressing opioids marketed online. Gottlieb noted the risks involved with buying prescription drugs online, as the products may be counterfeit, include dangerous substances, or could be expired. According to FDA, products being sold on these sites include unapproved tramadol and oxycodone. The companies that received warning letters have 10 business days to respond to FDA's concerns.