By sharing space and adding detection technologies at nine international mail facilities, the two agencies aim to stop more opioids and counterfeit drugs from entering the U.S.
The Food and Drug Administration entered an agreement with Customs and Border Protection this week to increase inspection and detection capabilities to stop illegal and harmful products from entering the country’s mail facilities and ports of entry.
“Information and resource sharing between agencies allow us to be more effective and more efficient in confronting threats,” said CBP Commissioner Kevin McAleenan in a statement. “We are eager to see the results of this expanded partnership.”
CBP said the agreement takes particular aim to “disrupt illegal supply chains that exploit the international mail environment,” such as the increase of dangerous opioid and counterfeit pharmaceutical shipments arriving in the U.S. through the mail.
“Thousands of illicit and dangerous products come from overseas each day, such as unapproved fentanyl products, counterfeit prescription drugs or fake over-the-counter products that look legitimate,” said FDA Commissioner Scott Gottlieb. “In recent years, we’ve committed new resources and have been granted new authorities by Congress to target these violative products and stop them before they’re able to enter our country.”
The agreement also calls for sharing space and adding technology to help detect these high-risk shipments at high-volume international mail facilities. The agencies said this will help “facilitate and support real-time entry decisions and increased data sharing.”
The are nine international mail facilities across the U.S., including individual locations in Florida, Hawaii, Illinois, New Jersey, New York, Puerto Rico and U.S. Virgin Islands, and two locations in California.