THE MAGAZINE

What Ails Online Pharmacies

By Carlton Purvis
An example report on the site shows that Canadian Health and Care Mall, which claimed to operate out of Canada, was actually a network of 7,000 fake pharmacies run by cells in Eastern Europe. “Web sites in this network often take orders and send nothing at all, or if they do ship a product to the recipient, it is completely substandard or fake product,” says the report.

EAASM says that efforts like LegitScripts will have a major impact on helping people buy drugs safely online.

Other tips from EAASM include steering clear of sites willing to sell POMs without proof of a prescription, sites offering bulk discounts, or medicines with inconsistent packaging. Patients should contact a local pharmacist if they have questions about a medication they bought online.

Ongoing Efforts

At the anticounterfeiting forum, Libby Baney, who is with The Alliance for Safe Online Pharmacies (ASOP), spoke on some of the other efforts being undertaken to combat illegal pharmacies. She also called for increased collaboration among stakeholders.

ASOP is an advocacy-based coalition of stakeholder organizations that runs awareness campaigns for consumers and companies, conducts research, and lobbies lawmakers. ASOP also works with the U.S. FDA on the awareness campaign BeSafeRx, which was launched shortly after Operation Pangea V.

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