Online pharmacy crackdown shutters 1,677 websites

U.S. and international regulators say they have seized more than $41 million in illegal medicines and shut down 1,677 websites as part of their battle against counterfeit drugs sold over the Internet.

The U.S. Food and Drug Administration says it used federal court warrants to seize the website domain names and post messages on them warning consumers.

Experts say the Internet is filled with illegitimate, professional-looking sites that peddle drugs. The FDA says those sites may offer very steep price discounts or they may not require a prescription to fill an order. They also may contact consumers through a spam email. The agency operates a website -- www.fda.gov/BeSafeRx -- that explains the risks of fake online pharmacies.

The international police agency Interpol organized the online pharmacy crackdown.