FedEx Corp. was charged yesterday with conspiring with Internet pharmacies over a decade to deliver drugs that were illegally bought online without a prescription, transactions that federal prosecutors said brought the package-shipping company at least $820 million in revenues, reports the San Francisco Chronicle. A federal grand jury in San Francisco indicted FedEx and two affiliated companies on charges of plotting with two pharmacy groups to distribute medications, including narcotics, to customers who had no legitimate medical need or valid prescription for the substances. “FedEx knew that it was delivering drugs to dealers and addicts,” said U.S. Attorney Melinda Haag.
The company said it was innocent and accused prosecutors of unfairly assigning law enforcement responsibilities to the deliverer of more than 10 million packages a day. FedEx said it has cooperated closely with federal and state law enforcement agencies for 42 years, and has assisted the Drug Enforcement Administration in “combatting rogue Internet pharmacies.” In a similar case, United Parcel Service agreed last year to forfeit to the government $40 million that it had collected from online pharmacies for delivering drugs without a prescription from 2003 to 2010. The charges against FedEx involve deliveries between 2000 and 2010 of medications from pharmacies that required customers only to fill out an online form, without any need for a doctor’s examination, diagnosis or prescription.