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FedEx Faces Charges in Aiding Illegal Distribution of Prescription Drugs

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FedEx Faces Charges for Aiding Illegal Distribution of Prescription Drugs

Popular shipping company, FedEx, faces charges that it participated in the illegal distribution of prescription drugs bought and sold without a doctor’s prescription.  Federal authorities filed the charges against the company in San Francisco on Thursday, alleging that the company knowingly aided illegal pharmaceutical companies in shipping prescription drugs that were medically unnecessary and sold without a prescription to customers that accessed online sites.  Specifically, federal authorities say that the company shipped prescription drugs to illegal pharmaceutical companies, knowing that those companies would ship the drugs to consumers after they took a simple online survey.  Those consumers never saw a doctor or received a prescription for the medications they ordered for the online pharmacies.  Investigations of the company revealed that FedEx was involved with the covert operations since 2000.

FedEx Not the Only Shipping Company Involved With Illegal Pharmacies

Just last year, UPS was also indicted on similar charges but paid $40 million to settle the issue and promised to take steps to ensure that illegal pharmaceutical companies did not use its services to ship prescription drugs obtained without doctor’s permission.  In regards to the current charges, FedEx maintains its innocence and claims that its employees acted in good faith at all times.  The company says that it asked federal authorities for a list of illegal pharmaceutical companies so that they would know which companies to avoid doing business with, but never received such a list.  In addition, the company maintains that it cannot be responsible for the 10 million packages shipped daily and that policing customers would violate their privacy.

Federal Authorities Don’t Buy FedEx’s Excuses

Despite FedEx’s protests as to its innocence, federal authorities are clamping down and say that they warned the company on no less than six different occasions about their involvement in shipping illegal prescription drugs.  In addition, federal authorities say that those warnings went directly to FedEx’s senior managers, and that the company knowingly continued doing business with one online pharmaceutical company shut down by the FDA through its affiliates.  Finally, authorities say that the company changed its policies and procedures to allow for the continuing delivery of shipments to odd locations such as vacant homes or parking lots where people would wait for illegal prescription drugs.  As for its position, FedEx says that it cannot be expected to engage in law enforcement activities, although it is willing to aid authorities in their investigations.

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