The agency also wants to find fraudulent food and cosmetics vendors.
The Food and Drug Administration’s law enforcement arm wants an Internet monitoring system to help root out sellers of illegally-marketed drugs, food and cosmetics, dietary supplements, tobacco and scam miracle cures.
The agency is looking for a contractor to mine through Internet data to spot those illegal sellers and, on occasion, to gather evidence against them by making straw purchases, according to solicitation documents the agency posted on Tuesday.
The contractor will make a maximum of 500 straw purchases using a “zero balance” credit card supplied by the FDA, the solicitation said. That means the contractor will be able to complete the purchase online but the credit card will ultimately be declined.
The FDA published a request for information offering basic details of the solicitation in March.
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