Over the past few years, eBay’s customer service department has received complaints about the sale of prescription drugs on their site.

Is eBay the new online drug pharmacy? Or Amazon? Or other large, multinational sales sites that offer users an online platform to sell their wares?

An IT manager from Tennessee, Nancy White, believes the answer to that question – when it comes to eBay, at least – is an emphatic “yes.” According to ABC News, she has filed hundreds of complaints over the past few years with eBay’s customer service department to report the sale of prescription drugs on the site but with only short-term results. White says that eBay often removes the listing but that it is usually back up shortly, often within hours, and frequently under the same seller’s profile.

Says White: “They always assure me that this should not happen again and it will not happen again, but I’ve seen the same vendor relist the same drug over and over.”

According to Ryan Moore, a spokesperson for eBay, the company is doing their best to guard against consumers purchasing a potentially dangerous prescription drug through systems designed to monitor illegal listing.

Says Moore: “eBay does not allow the listing of any substance that requires a prescription from a licensed medical practitioner or must be administered by a licensed practitioner. Listings that violate our policy are removed promptly after coming to our attention.”

Similarly, Dr. Ford Vox reports that his wife ordered an acne medication from Amazon and received an antibiotic medication called clindamycin that should only be available by prescription.

It’s an issue that is not taken lightly by the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) or the Drug Enforcement Agency (DEA). Though there have been no incidents of sales of addictive drugs on either site, both agencies are keeping tabs on the issue.

Rusty Payne is a spokesperson for the DEA. He told ABC: “We look anywhere and everywhere if there is an indication of drug trafficking, even a large site like eBay.”

Protecting Yourself, Protecting Your Family

Unfortunately, many people don’t realize that the medications they are purchasing online should be taken only under the supervision of a doctor. Risks include dangerous side effects and negative interactions with other drugs.

There’s always the risk that addictive medications could eventually be sold illegally through these major online marketplaces. Silk Road, an underground site dedicated to the sales of illegal and addictive substances, has been shut down, but it likely won’t be long until one or more replacements pop up to take its place.

The purchase of medications online illegally is a risky proposition for the user. There are no guarantees that the medication ordered is what it is purported to be or that, if it is the correct medication, that it is not past its expiration date or stored in suboptimal conditions and therefore no longer effective.

For some people, use of illegal online pharmacies to purchase addictive medications is a sign of drug dependence and the need for treatment. Contact us at The Recovery Village today to learn more about our unique medical detox and drug treatment services and how we can help your loved one heal from substance abuse.

Medical Disclaimer

The Recovery Village aims to improve the quality of life for people struggling with substance use or mental health disorder with fact-based content about the nature of behavioral health conditions, treatment options and their related outcomes. We publish material that is researched, cited, edited and reviewed by licensed medical professionals. The information we provide is not intended to be a substitute for professional medical advice, diagnosis or treatment. It should not be used in place of the advice of your physician or other qualified healthcare providers.