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FedEx facing drug charges for shipping illegal prescription meds

Along with the advent of the Internet came an entirely new way to shop, in which consumers could order clothes, movies and even groceries from the comfort of their own home. Some patients in Connecticut might have even been able to take advantage of online pharmacies in order to receive their medication through the mail. However, authorities claim that it can also be used to purchase illegal prescription medications. Recently, FedEx was charged and indicted on drug charges for shipping packages sent from some of those illegal pharmacies.

Unlike legitimate online pharmacies that require a prescription and other protocols to be followed, there are some that merely require that the individual making the order fill out a brief questionnaire. These websites can make it easy to obtain prescription medication without having a prescription or even seeing a healthcare provider. Following a 10 year investigation that ended in 2010, federal authorities accused FedEx of knowingly shipping some of those illegal medications.

However, FedEx has maintained its innocence and announced its plan to plead not guilty. It claims that the company is more than willing to lend a helping hand to authorities, but that FedEx cannot be expected to be solely responsible for determining which pharmacies that ship with FedEx are legal and which are not. It has also been noted that the company has previously helped authorities thwart online pharmacies.

Set to appear in court on July 29, 2014 to face the federal drug charges, FedEx could potentially face fines of $1.6 billion. However, the fact that FedEx is a company does not exclude it from legal protections that individual Connecticut defendants are also entitled to. The burden of proof lies with the prosecution, who must prove beyond a reasonable doubt that FedEx each and every element of the crimes charged.

Source: CNN Money, "FedEx indicted for shipping drugs from illegal online pharmacies", Katie Lobosco, July 17, 2014

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