Feds probe if FedEx, UPS are delivery vehicles for illegal online pharmacies

One of the logistics issues of online pharmacies is arranging for delivery to consumers of the drugs, which sometimes turn out to be counterfeit or unapproved. UPS ($UPS) and FedEx ($FDX) acknowledge that they are targets in a federal criminal investigation of online pharmacies that is looking into whether they are the last link in the supply chain for many of the illegal pharmacies. The Associated Press points out that the two apparently received subpoenas several years ago but only recently disclosed the fact in SEC filings. Why they have chosen to disclose it now is unknown. A FedEx spokesman confirmed to the AP that the worldwide shipper is being investigated for "allegedly aiding and abetting online pharmacies that illegally ship prescription drugs" but adamantly denied that the company did anything wrong. Authorities here and around the world have been making a concerted effort to slow the burgeoning business in online pharmacies, some of which have been tied to making counterfeit drugs available in the U.S. One tactic has been to go after Internet service providers that host the websites. In October, an international coordinated global attack on illegal online pharmacies involving law enforcement from 100 countries, said it had shut down thousands of websites that sell unauthorized drugs. The sweep was coordinated by the international investigation agency Interpol and hit particularly hard at Russian gangs that are believed to be sourcing counterfeit drugs from China. Nearly 80 people were arrested and agents seized 3.7 million doses of either unlicensed or fake drugs, estimated to be worth ₤6.5 million ($10.5 million). Story | More