The Bitterest Pill of Them All

Counterfeits medicines shouldn’t be a reality that consumers must swallow. Every day, people from all over the world look to fill prescriptions or find remedies to ailments and sicknesses. Unfortunately, all too often what they’re encountering are digital storefronts for criminals selling fake medicines under the guise of authenticity.

Recently, the GIPC explored this issue with our Dangerous Fakes video series, where we discovered that consumers are largely unaware that the lion-share of online pharmacies are in fact illicit and could be putting the health of their families into serious jeopardy.

Today, we learned that a worldwide effort lead by INTERPOL in coordination with 100 countries, has stopped criminals from operating a staggering 18,000 websites responsible for the sale of counterfeit medications. Operation Pangea prevented 3.7 million of potentially lethal doses from reaching our homes and medicine cabinets.

This massive international program also incorporated the largest operation by U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE), which tracked down over 680 illegal online pharmacies. This victory for consumers is the single biggest effort by ICE since the beginning of Operation in Our Sites in 2010, which, until now, had targeted criminals running illicit operations through an additional 839 sites.

We commend INTERPOL and ICE for organizing this incredible display of global cooperation in the fight against dangerous fakes.

To learn more about the GIPC’s efforts on counterfeiting, please visit

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