FedEx charges raise on­line phar­macy is­sues

The Covington News - - THE WIRE -

SAN FRAN­CISCO (AP) — FedEx Corp., the lat­est com­pany ac­cused in a fed­eral probe in­volv­ing il­le­gal on­line phar­ma­cies, says it will fight the charges that it know­ingly shipped drugs to peo­ple who lack valid pre­scrip­tions.

The com­pany says it would have to in­vade the pri­vacy of cus­tomers to stop such de­liv­er­ies.

By con­trast, UPS Inc. paid $40 mil­lion last year to re­solve sim­i­lar al­le­ga­tions and vowed to over­haul its pro­ce­dures and work with in­ves­ti­ga­tors to de­tect sus­pi­cious ac­tiv­ity.

The con­trast­ing re­sponses to the decade-long fed­eral probe of the pre­scrip­tion drug black mar­ket un­der­score the dif­fi­culty ship­pers have in de­ter­min­ing how far to go to fer­ret out il­licit on­line phar­ma­cies among their cus­tomers and to alert the govern­ment.

Wall Street an­a­lysts, le­gal ex­perts, anti-drug cru­saders and the com­pa­nies them­selves are split on the is­sue.

FedEx could face $1.6 bil­lion in penal­ties af­ter its July 17 in­dict­ment on charges that it con­spired with il­le­gal on­line phar­ma­cies to de­liver pre­scrip­tion drugs to cus­tomers it knew lacked valid pre­scrip­tions.

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