Hundreds of people in Minnesota, Wisconsin and Vermont had their Canadian prescription-drug orders seized and thousands more had their shipments delayed after about 450 packages arriving in Miami from the Bahamas were seized by U.S. Customs in July, USA Today reports. The seizure was the first large-scale effort by U.S. Customs and the Food and Drug Administration to halt prescription shipments from Canadian pharmacies, although individual packages have been halted in the past. More may occur, however, as an increasing number of Canadian pharmacies look to Europe, Australia and other regions to fill orders for U.S. residents.
That’s because drugs from those countries cannot be mailed through Canada. In this case, the Canadian pharmacy, CanadaRx.net, set up a pharmacy in the Bahamas, to which wholesalers in Europe and elsewhere sent medications. The products were then mailed from the Bahamas. FedEx, which picked up the shipment, became suspicious of the hundreds of similar packages, each emblazoned with “CanadaRx” and notified U.S. Customs, which alerted the FDA. The packages were inspected by the FDA, which then sent letters to the patients, saying they could request the FDA release the drugs.