WASHINGTON (AP) _ The Food and Drug Administration said Thursday it has issued warning letters to 11 foreign pharmacies to stop selling the antibiotic Cipro to Americans via the Internet.
The agency said it also is advising the U.S. Customs Service that shipments from these companies may be detained and refused entry into the United States.
Cipro was the drug first recommended to combat anthrax, which has struck in four East Coast communities, most likely through tainted mail.
Fear that the disease will spread has prompted worried people in many areas to seek prescriptions for the drug and others have crossed into Mexico to buy it.
FDA said it was unable to determine that the Cipro offered for sale by the 11 pharmacies was made in accordance with U.S. specification and, therefore, sale of the drug in the United States may be illegal.
Thursday's warning letters were sent to:
_ Farmacia Cerati, S. Damiano d'Asti, Italy.
_ Farmamondo, Chiasso, Switzerland.
_ JFW Enterprises, Hermosillo, Mexico.
_ Masters Marketing Company, Harrow, United Kingdom.
_ Mediplan Health Consulting Inc., Minnedosa, Manitoba, Canada.
_ Rhino Corporate Communications, Calgary, Alberta, Canada.
_ Pharma Group, Lisbon, Portugal.
_ Pharmacy International Inc., Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia.
_ Point Douglas Pharmacy, Winnipeg, Manitoba, Canada.
_ Hans-Georg Seiler, Krefeld, New Zealand.
_ USA Medicine.com Ltd., Dublin, Ireland.