In a five-part series, the Washington Post reports that America’s pharmaceutical industry–once the world’s safest and most tightly regulated–is now being undercut “by a growing illegal trade in pharmaceuticals, fed by criminal profiteers, unscrupulous wholesalers, rogue Internet sites and foreign pharmacies.”
In the past few years, middlemen have siphoned off growing numbers of popular and lifesaving drugs and diverted them into a multibillion-dollar shadow market. Crooks have introduced counterfeit pharmaceuticals into the mainstream drug chain. Fast-moving operators have hawked millions of doses of narcotics over the Internet.
The Post says, “The result too often is pharmaceutical roulette for millions of unsuspecting Americans. Cancer patients receive watered-down drugs. Teenagers overdose on narcotics ordered online. AIDS clinics get fake HIV medicines.”