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More Scrutiny To Prevent Unapproved Drugs Entering US Through International Mail Facilities

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The U.S. Food and Drug Administration, and Homeland Security Agencies including Customs and Border Protection (CBP), and Immigration and Customs Enforcement, Homeland Security Investigations (ICE-HSI) have come together to curtail the entry of harmful products hazardous to public health, to the country, through International Mail Facilities (IMFs).

According to the Memorandum of Understanding, CBP and ICE-HSI will continue to partner with the FDA at the IMFs aiming at preventing illicit opioids, medical devices and dietary supplements regulated under the Federal Food, Drug, and Cosmetic Act, from entering into the U.S.

In 2019 April, the FDA and CBP had signed a letter of intent to 'maximize inspection and detection capabilities' to stop entering illegal products to the country through the IMFs. Now, the FDA, CBP, and ICE-HSI have decided to expand the types of information to be shared within the agencies and the method by which it to be shared to quickly identify the illicit packages.

The primary channels for drug smugglers are International mail and express consignment. According to CBP Acting Commissioner Mark A. Morgan, the collaboration with FDA and ICE ensures additional tools and resources to curb the entry of dangerous drugs to the society.

During the pandemic, there was an emergence of unapproved medical products often with fake claims, hitting the market , the FDA had said in an earlier release.

"We remain committed to using all tools and authorities available and leveraging our strong relationship with our federal partners to help stop the illegal flow of counterfeit and unapproved medical products into our country," said FDA Commissioner Stephen M. Hahn, M.D.

"ICE HSI special agents investigate and enforce violations of federal trademark, copyright and patent law and work to dismantle counterfeit operations and hold individuals involved in them accountable - mitigating risks to legitimate business and ensuring public safety," said Senior Official Performing the Duties of the Director Tony H. Pham.

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