Online Drug Sellers Making Opioid Epidemic Worse

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FILE – This Tuesday, Aug. 15, 2017, file photo shows an arrangement of pills of the opioid oxycodone-acetaminophen in New York. Walmart is helping customers get rid of leftover opioids by giving them packets that turn the addictive painkillers into a useless gel. (AP Photo/Patrick Sison, File)

The Better Business Bureau reports that fraudulent online drug sales are exacerbating the opioid epidemic in the U.S. and Illinois.

The National Association of Boards of Pharmacy published a study this month providing an update on the internet drug buying landscape and how the sale of counterfeit medications online is making the opioid crisis worse.

The study evaluated 100 websites selling medication to patients in the U.S., all of which were found to be operating illegally. 54% of the sites were selling controlled substances; 98% did not require a valid prescription; 76% offered foreign or non-FDA approved drugs; and 40% were selling controlled substances linked to fentanyl-related overdoses.

“Consumer protection is a key mission of our organization and nothing could be more important than protecting citizens against counterfeit claims that could impact their health,” said Dennis Horton, director of the Regional BBB Office.

More than 63,000 Americans died from drug overdoses in 2016, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.

A list of safe online pharmacies and related resources can be found here.

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