WASHINGTON (AP) — The e-commerce large eBay can pay $59 million in a settlement with the Justice Department over 1000’s of capsule press machines bought on the the platform.
The machines can be utilized to fabricate counterfeit tablets that look identical to prescription tablets however as an alternative could be laced with substances like fentanyl, an artificial opioid drug that’s largely fueling the deadliest overdose disaster in U.S. historical past, in line with the Justice Department. The firm didn’t instantly reply to a request for remark.
Sellers of pharmaceutical manufacturing gear are required to confirm consumers’ identities, preserve information, and report back to the Drug Enforcement Administration to ensure the machines are traceable and never used illegally.
The Justice Department says eBay, which supplies a platform for individuals to make on-line gross sales, failed to fulfill these necessities for 1000’s of capsule presses and pill-filling encapsulating machines, together with high-capacity capsule presses able to producing 1000’s of tablets per hour.
In lots of of instances, pill-press consumers additionally purchased counterfeit molds or dies that allowed them to make tablets mimicking professional prescription tablets, authorities mentioned. Many individuals who purchased capsule presses on eBay have since been charged in unlawful counterfeit tablets trafficking instances, in line with the Justice Department.
“Counterfeit pills laced with fentanyl are a significant contributor to the deadly overdose epidemic,” mentioned Associate Attorney General Vanita Gupta.
More than 100,000 deaths had been linked to drug overdoses in 2022, in line with the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, and over than two-thirds of these concerned fentanyl or comparable artificial medication.
“Through its website, eBay made it easy for individuals across the country to obtain the type of dangerous machines that are often used to make counterfeit pills,” mentioned U.S. Attorney Nikolas Kerest of Vermont.
The firm has agreed to step up its compliance program on gross sales of capsule presses in addition to counterfeit molds, stamps and dies, and encapsulating machines, that are used to fill tablets.
The firm’s failure to observe “basic reporting and record keeping requirements” allowed individuals to “set up pill factories in their homes and to do so without detection,” mentioned U.S. Attorney Henry Leventis for the Middle District of Tennessee.