Amazon is often considered the world‘s largest online retailer. They sell anything that can be shipped and usually for rock bottom prices. Consumers are even able to purchase drugs without a prescription – something that is highly illegal and going on for several years. For those looking to score steroids that have been taken off the market, they sign on to Amazon and get the pills sent directly to their home. While the FDA and DEA are aware that this is going on, there has been little done to stop the illegal marketing and sale of certain drugs to Amazon customers.
One reporter, who is also a physician, noticed that his wife was able to obtain acne medication from Amazon. When the package arrived it stated that it was called clindamycin. Clindamycin is a powerful antibiotic that is only available with a prescription. After further investigation, Vox realized that not only were people purchasing medications that should be regulated by a doctor, but they could also get dangerous steroids from Amazon.
There is a giant loophole in the way the DEA and FDA govern and regulate steroids. In order for the agencies to determine if a substance is legal, safe and effective they must go through a long and expensive testing process. Because this takes so long, the drug is technically legal to sell until the findings get released. Manufacturers of the steroids have realized that if they continuously change one component to the recipe they will always be able to sell their product. The FDA and DEA will never be able to catch up. This allows the creators of dangerous steroids to sell their products on Amazon.
Apparently Amazon doesn’t stop there, as they are also making other drugs available to customers that have been outlawed, or only legal with a prescription. No one is quite sure how they are getting away with this blatant disregard for the law and safety of their customers. When enough people complain about a certain supplement or drug Amazon does remove it from the site – only to put it back up several months later. As the drug trade is continuously evolving, agencies like the DEA and FDA need to adapt to the changing methods of procuring illegal drugs and regulate companies like Amazon much more closely.
Online drug sales have become a big problem, as major websites like the Silk Road have been the target of Federal investigations. A juggernaut like Amazon doesn’t need to sell drugs illegally to make profits, so hopefully their common sense and decency will prevail with some better oversight for the protection of consumers.