There have been a slew of posts across multiple forums recently discussing delays in the shipment of orders; specifically of orders for Modafinil and related products. This has been due to two compounding variables that are outside the control of vendors and suppliers; namely Operation Pangea VI and multiple strikes in India over government intervention into the Pharmaceutical industry.
OPERATION PANGEA VI
To get a better understanding of Operation Pangea VI, we need to look at the history of Operation Pangea I – V. From its inception, Operation Pangea has been one of the largest and most successful operations aimed at taking down online pharmacies selling both counterfeit and illegal drugs around the world. A brief timeline of the six phases of Operation Pangea can be found below:
– Operation Pangea I
- Began in November 2008 with 10 countries participating
- Ended with the takedown of websites and focused on counterfeit erectile dysfunction drugs
– Operation Pangea II
- Began in November 2009 with 25 countries participating
- 1200 websites came under close investigation and ended with 12 individuals arrested
– Operation Pangea III
- Began in October 2010 with 44 countries participating
- Ended with 87 arrests and more than 2 million pills seized at a value of more than $6 million
– Operation Pangea IV
- Began in September 2011 with 81 countries participating
- Ended with more than 13,000 websites being shuttered, more than 2 million pills seized, and 55 arrests
– Operation Pangea V
- Began in September 2012 with more than 100 countries participating
- Ended with 3.75 million pills seized, 18,000 websites shut down, and 80 individuals either under arrest or being investigated
This brings us to current operation going on: Operation Pangea VI; this operation aims to take down online pharmacies selling illicit and counterfeit drugs through focusing on three main facets of how they conduct their business, namely “the Internet Service Provider (ISP), payment systems and the delivery service” . Operation Pangea VI took place from June 18-25 of this year and involved more than 100 countries; at this point in time, more than $41million in counterfeit and/or illegal substances have been confiscated, more than 9,600 websites have been shut down, and 58 persons have been arrested. Operation Pangea was a joint effort between INTERPOL and the USFDA and is classified as “Ongoing” with the effort now being focused on tracking and checking packages that may appear suspicious. So far, Operation Pangea VI has been described as having inspected 522,000 packages and seized roughly 10% of that number.
RECENT STRIKES IN INDIA
The other compounding factor in slowing down shipments has been a couple of recent strikes in India by chemists and distributors of pharmaceuticals due to some questionable actions taken by the government. Back in March of this year, the JKCDA (Jammu and Kashmir Chemists and Distribution Association) went on strike to protest the implementation of a new law that would control what pharmaceuticals could/can be prescribed to patients based on Standard Treatment Protocols; this protest lead to pharmaceuticals being unavailable to both locals as well as for shipping for some time. Later, in April of this year, the JKCDA went on protest again to show their disapproval of a government oversight committee who gave clearance to sell a drug that was found to contain none of the active ingredient it claimed to contain (amoxicillin). Then again in May of this year, the Jammu and Kashmir Medicine Dealers Association (JKMDA) and the All India Organization of Chemists and Druggists (AIOCD) went on strike in protest of a new government policy that would restrict trade margins on many pharmaceuticals; at this point in time, it is difficult to determine what exactly the long-term impacts will be of these strikes and Operation Pangea, but we do know it is expected to slow down fulfillment of shipments for the near future.
Anyone looking for more information on the above can check out the resources below: