National Association of Boards of Pharmacy Reports Counterfeit Drugs [Professional Services Close - Up]
(Professional Services Close - Up Via Acquire Media NewsEdge) The National Association of Boards of Pharmacy issued a report stressing that illegal online drug sellers are the most frequent conduits of counterfeit drugs and pose a continued threat to global public health.
In a release, the Association noted that as detailed in the Internet Drug Outlet Identification Program Progress Report for State and Federal Regulators: April 2014, most of these rogue Internet drug outlets sell prescription drug products directly to consumers without requiring a valid prescription. Further, many are distributing controlled substances, putting patients at a high risk for abuse and addiction, since they are receiving these drugs without legitimate medical care.
To protect consumers, NABP and a global coalition of stakeholders are moving forward plans to launch the .pharmacy generic Top-Level Domain. The Association and its member state boards of pharmacy continue to encourage and work with federal regulators and other public and private entities to educate the public about the dangers of unapproved drugs and other risks of buying medications from rogue Internet drug sellers.
Pharmaceutical and health care products were one of the top five categories of counterfeit goods seized by United States officials in 2013, and many of these shipments were tied to illegal online drug sellers. The report issued includes an overview of testimony presented at a Feb. 27, Congressional hearing by public health, industry, regulatory, and academic leaders. A Food and Drug Administration spokesperson emphasized that when rogue sellers operate on the Internet, an added layer of complexity and more players are involved, expanding the criminal's ability to reach consumers. This complexity makes it easy for operators to hide behind the facade of the fake Internet site, never seeing their victims face to face, and also makes it difficult for cybercrime experts to track down these operations.
NABP has entered contract negotiations with the Internet Corp. for Assigned Names and Numbers to own and operate the .pharmacy gTLD, which will be available only to legitimate online pharmacies and related entities located in the US or other countries. The Registry Agreement between the Association and ICANN will include a number of safeguards intended to protect consumers and the public health.
Internet drug outlets currently listed as Not Recommended are characterized as follows:
-49 percent offer foreign or non-FDA-approved drugs
-88 percent do not require a valid prescription and 1,254 (12 percent) dispense controlled substances
-23 percent have a physical address located outside of the US, and most (62 percent) rogue sites post no address whatsoever
-16 percent do not have secure sites, exposing customers to financial fraud and identity theft
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