A recent U.S. study revealed that of 365 online pharmacies, only two were legitimate. So how can we realistically address this problem?

Bryan A. Liang, MD, PhD, JD  Liang (sm)

A recent U.S. study revealed that of 365 online pharmacies, only two were legitimate.  So how can we realistically address this problem?

We believe that collaboration is a critical factor in the fight against counterfeit drugs and the online “pharmacies” that peddle them.  In fact, we witnessed international collaboration in November when nine countries partnered together to raid businesses suspected of supplying medicines illegally through the Internet.  This approach was effective in helping to protect consumers from dangerous counterfeit drugs purchased online.

Last week the U.N. Commission on Narcotic Drugs issued guidelines on how to systematically crack down on illegal online pharmacies.  The guidelines recommended regulatory and legislative action, a principle which the Partnership for Safe Medicines (PSM) strongly supports and recognizes in our International Principles for Drug Safety.  Without strong legislative action and harsher punishments for the manufacturers and distributors of dangerous counterfeit drugs, this problem will continue to plague patients around the world.  For more information the PSM's efforts to combat counterfeit drugs, please visit www.safemedicines.org