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US impose sanctions on network of online pharmacies for opioids


US impose sanctions on network of online pharmacies for opioids

The move was the latest effort by the Trump Administration to tackle the U.S. epidemic of abuse and overdoses linked to prescription painkillers and other opioids like heroin.

WASHINGTON: The U.S. Treasury Department on Thursday placed sanctions on Goldpharma, an Argentina-based network of online pharmacies that it said contributed to the opioid crisis by selling clandestinely produced narcotics to customers in the United States.

The Treasury’s Office of Foreign Assets Control also designated eight Argentine nationals and nine entities located in Argentina, Colombia, Canada, Britain and the Netherlands for their roles in Goldpharma, the agency said in a statement.

Read Also: Trump to keep fighting opioids ‘until our job is done’

“The Goldpharma network illustrates the sophisticated tactics drug traffickers and money launderers use to capitalize on the Internet and online pharmacy sites to sell highly addictive illicit narcotics around the world,” said Sigal Mandelker, Treasury undersecretary for terrorism and financial intelligence.

Goldpharma websites sell both legitimate and clandestinely produced narcotics, including oxycodone, hydrocodone, and tramadol, without a prescription, the statement said. They sell the vast majority of their illicit opioids to customers in the United States, it said.

The move was the latest effort by the Trump Administration to tackle the U.S. epidemic of abuse and overdoses linked to prescription painkillers and other opioids like heroin.

Read Also: USFDA takes action to combat illegal online sale of opioids including Tramadol

Opioids were involved in a record 47,600 overdose deaths in 2017 in the United States, according to the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.

Five of the Argentine designated individuals have been indicted in the U.S. District Court for the Eastern District of Wisconsin for their role in Goldpharma, the statement said. Three others were involved in Goldpharma’s money laundering activities, it said.

Seven U.S. companies owned or controlled by designated members of Goldpharma have also been blocked, the statement said.

Goldpharma was identified as a drug trafficking and money laundering organization under the Foreign Narcotics Kingpin Designation Act, the statement said.

Read Also: Rochester Drug Cooperative fined $20 million in criminal case against drug distributor over opioids

Any property of the designated persons in the United States would be blocked and U.S. persons would be prohibited from business dealings with them, it said.

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Source: Reuters
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