INTERNET DRUG SALES AND SHIPPER LIABILITY
United Parcel Service “NonProsecution Agreement”
Does a shipper such as FedX or United Parcel Service, INC. (UPS) have a legal duty to refuse to ship drug products to United States customers who obtain controlled substances and prescription drugs without a prescription from “Internet Pharmacies”? UPS agreed in 2013 to a “Nonprosecution Agreement” with the United States Department of Justice in which the company agreed to forfeit $40 million in payments it received from illicit online pharmacies. UPS agreed to institute a compliance program to assure that illegal online pharmacies will not be able to use UPS for shipment. For example, an online pharmacy compliance officer position is responsible to implement, monitor and provide regular reports to UPS’s chief executive officer. According to FDA and the Department of Justice, UPS was on notice since 2004 that Internet pharmacies were illegally shipping prescription through common carriers such as UPS. Yet, despite a compliance program instituted in 2004, it was deemed ineffective. See: UPS Agrees To Forfeit $40 Million In Payments From Illicit Online Pharmacies For Shipping Service
FedEx Corporation Indictment
More recently, FedEx Corporation was charged See: United States v. FedEx Corp., N.D. Cal., No. 14-cr-00380, indictment 7/17/14) /See: FDA FedEx Indictment. The grand jury issued a 15 count indictment . If there is a conviction FedEx could face fines, penalties, forfeiture. Most likely, there would be mandatory compliance parameters as well. See also: FDA News Release.