Amazon, FDA clash over online drug sales

FDA probes online sale of skin treatments by Amazon Pharmacy

In the United States, the online drug sales market has seen significant growth in recent years, with Amazon Pharmacy being a leading example of this trend.

This service allows users to purchase medications from the comfort of their homes, providing invaluable accessibility for those who have difficulty getting around. However, this convenience has also raised serious concerns about illegal drug sales.

The FDA has intervened in this problem. A recent Financial Times report details the legal action the FDA has taken against Amazon Pharmacy.

At issue is the online sale of medications that supposedly treat molluscum contagiosum, a skin disease that causes lesions on the body.

A product claiming toe treat molluscum contagiosum on

The dangers of selling medicines online

The investigation conducted by the FDA revealed that four of these products had been distributed to multiple individuals, which constitutes a serious violation, since these medications are not available for sale without a prescription. Obtaining them without a diagnosis from a health specialist is, at least theoretically, a risk to public health.

Additionally, certain skin tag removal products and dietary supplements were found to contain an anti-inflammatory drug that was not indicated on the label. This represents an apparent violation of the regulations established for the sale of medicines online.

Selling pharmaceutical products over the Internet carries specific dangers that are not present in the standard purchasing process in a physical pharmacy.

Not the first confrontation

The FDA's stance against the sale of medications online is not recent. In August 2022, the agency accused Amazon Pharmacy and two other companies of marketing skin products without its approval.

This legal action was based on the consideration that the sale of these products represents a risk to public health, since their use without medical supervision can endanger the health of consumers.

In its statement, the FDA emphasized that "trading interstate with products that do not have FDA approval is a violation of the United States Federal Food, Drug, and Cosmetic Act."

Despite Amazon Pharmacy's response, which claimed to comply with all applicable laws and regulations, the FDA has identified multiple occasions where the procedure was allegedly not carried out properly.

FDA Warnings to Third Parties and Amazon Pharmacy Associates

The FDA has also sent numerous warning letters in recent years to third parties who sell products on the Amazon Pharmacy website, as well as the company's "associates," individuals who earn commissions from the sale of items they promote online. .

Amazon Pharmacy vice president John Love said that the idea behind the service is to provide affordable access to medications and allow customers to compare prices from different pharmaceutical companies.

However, the latest confrontation is a clear example of the challenges and controversies surrounding the sale of medicines online. Despite the convenience that these types of services offer, consumer safety and compliance with regulations are essential.

While it is true that Amazon pharmacists verify prescriptions at all times, as an online service, there are many possibilities that problems can arise, such as forging or forging prescriptions.