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Sellers of Unapproved Drugs Proliferate Online, Posing a Serious Threat to Global Public Health, Reports NABP
Date:11/1/2013

/falsified/counterfeit" medical products can result in "treatment failure or even death." The United Nations Office on Drugs and Crime, while distinguishing between drugs that violate IP rights and fraudulent drugs with dubious contents, notes that, for "the consumer, the results are the same."

As indicated in the report released today, "Regardless of the terminology used to describe them, drug products that circumvent supply chain safeguards place patients at risk." Two safeguards often bypassed by rogue online sellers are sourcing medications from drugmakers that use current Good Manufacturing Practices and sourcing medications from licensed wholesale distributors. Instead, drugs subject to poor quality controls, unregulated trade zones, and rogue wholesalers are frequently distributed by rogue sites, as highlighted in the report.

NABP has recently identified 109 additional rogue Web sites that are operating out of compliance with pharmacy laws and practice standards, bringing the total number of rogue Internet drug outlets identified to 10,288. Of the newly identified 109 rogue sites, 84 (77%) offer foreign or non-FDA-approved medications –  mostly fraudulent knockoffs of trademarked brand name drugs – placing consumers at risk of receiving unsafe and ineffective drugs. In addition, 98% of the 84 sites do not require a valid prescription, creating the potential for dangerous drug interactions and other health risks.

Additional findings on the more than 10,500 Internet drug outlets reviewed by NABP are also presented in the report released today. Nearly 97% of the sites reviewed operate out of compliance with US pharmacy laws and practice standards and those of many other developed countries, and are listed as Not Recommended on NABP's consumer protection Web site, www.AWARErx.org. The 10,288 Internet drug outlets currently listed as Not Recommended are characterized as follow
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SOURCE National Association of Boards of Pharmacy
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