Prescription drug availability worries officials

Attempts to control unlawful Internet sales of legitimate, though controlled, medications have been a bit successful but illicit sales remain a major problem. Last year, 581 sites offered to sell opoids, stimulants and depressants without a suitable prescription, but a new study says the number is now 365--still excessively high. The reduction is likely because of federal and state efforts to mollify the situation amidst concerns about the easy online availability of the addictive and risky medications in the absence of a prescription.

The study by the Drug Enforcement Administration found that while only 11 percent of brick and mortar pharmacy sales are for controlled drugs, a whopping 85 percent of Internet prescriptions are for the same. Authorities continue to struggle to find ways to stop the Internet providers, which are often transient companies with slick avoidance techniques. Some sites even sell fake triplicate prescriptions for use at a regular pharmacy.

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