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The US government has taken FedEx to court over the accusation that the shipping company knowingly shipped illegal prescription drugs. FedEx has denied the charges.

The US contends that FedEx delivered drugs such as Ambien to dealers and addicts, resulting in several deaths.

UPS faced similar allegations in 2013, based around shipping drugs for internet pharmacies, and settled for $40 million. There is no such settlement for FedEx, which faces a fine of $1.6 billion.

Prosecutors claim that FedEx conspired with two internet pharmacies to ship sleeping pills, painkillers and other drugs to customers without doctor-approved prescriptions. They say this began in 2000, and that federal law enforcement officials had notified FedEx as early as 2004.

In their defence, FedEx say that these pharmacies were licensed by state boards and registered with the Drug Enforcement Administration in the US—and that the company was therefore shipping legal medications to the best of its knowledge.

The opening statements were scheduled for today, Monday 13th June, with the trial due to go into August.

(Source: ABC News)

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