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The Latest on Internet Pharmacies, Supplements, Designer Drugs,
and Other High-Risk Merchants

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What the Recent NSDUH Report Says About Opioid Abuse in the US

The Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration recently released its annual National Survey on Drug Use and Health (NSDUH), which is one of the most comprehensive surveys in the US on the issues of substance abuse and mental health. For this 2017 report, nearly 70,000 people representative of the general US population were surveyed…

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How Drugs Are Sold on the Dark Web

Federal authorities announced last week several arrests, charges, and guilty pleas from a joint operation dubbed “Operation Darkness Falls,” which targeted people and organizations selling fentanyl and other drugs over the dark web. Among those arrested were the operators behind the dark web username “MH4Life,” which the Department of Justice called the most prolific dark…

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What is Spice/K2? (It’s Not “Synthetic Marijuana”)

Following last week’s mass drug overdose in New Haven, Connecticut — in which more than 100 people were treated for symptoms such as vomiting, convulsing, and passing out — some may be wondering exactly what K2 and Spice are, and why this drug is called “synthetic marijuana” and “herbal incense.” These labels are misleading, especially…

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The Problem With Glucosamine Supplements

As a public service, LegitScript offers free limited product lookups so that people can check to see if a product they have purchased is dangerous or otherwise problematic. Frequently, we get searches for products that contain problematic ingredients such as marijuana, kratom, and SARMs. But we’ve noticed that one of the top ingredient searches on…

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Operators of So-Called Canadian Pharmacy Sentenced for Distributing Misbranded Prescription Drugs

Last year, we wrote about criminal charges against Billy Lee, Tarn Uppal, and Tony Lee, who operated “Canadian” internet pharmacies but shipped US residents drugs that were not really from Canada. This week, the FDA’s Office of Criminal Investigations announced sentencing for these British Columbia residents, amounting to three years’ probation and a fine of…

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When is a Legal Dietary Supplement Illegal?

Most countries have regulatory authorities like the Food and Drug Administration that monitor and establish rules around food, drugs, dietary supplements, and more. These agencies have their own complex laws and regulatory standards, and they often vary substantially. What may be a legal, unregulated ingredient in one country is a prescription drug in another, and…

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Man Sentenced to Seven Years for Death Related to the Sale of Dangerous Chemical for Weight Loss

A UK man was sentenced last week to seven years in prison for the death of a woman to whom he sold the industrial chemical 2,4-dinitrophenol (DNP), a compound abused by bodybuilders and other people for weight-loss purposes. Bernard Rebelo, now 31, was convicted of manslaughter after 21-year-old Eloise Parry, also from the UK, died…

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E-cigarettes Remain a Pervasive Problem for Youth

Tobacco use among youth in the US is down, but e-cigarettes still pose the greatest challenge to reducing nicotine consumption among middle and high schoolers. These are the findings of the 2017 National Youth Tobacco Survey, released this month by The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) and the US Food and Drug Administration…

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FDA Warning Letters for Kratom Merchants Could Mean Steep Fines for Payment Processors

The US Food and Drug Administration recently issued warning letters to three businesses marketing and distributing kratom for making unproven claims about their products on their websites and social media, including the claim it can help in the treatment of opioid addiction and withdrawal. These claims make the products unapproved new drugs sold in violation…

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How Does the Partial Rollback of Dodd-Frank Affect Payment Facilitators and UDAAP?

The US House of Representatives voted this week to repeal parts of the Dodd-Frank Wall Street Reform and Consumer Protection Act, the 2010 legislation that brought significant changes to financial regulation in the United States after the Great Recession. Because Dodd-Frank led to the creation of the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau (CFPB), payment facilitators and…

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