FedEx charges raise online pharmacy issues
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.