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Consumer Protection Group Applauds International Efforts to Combat Illegal Online Pharmacies

The Partnership for Safe Medicines (PSM) issued the following statement regarding the International Internet Week of Action, code named Operation Pangea II, intended to curb illegal actions involving medical products. PSM is a group of organizations and individuals dedicated to protecting consumers from counterfeit medicines.

The Partnership for Safe Medicines seeks stronger regulations and penalties for online pharmacies

WASHINGTON—The Partnership for Safe Medicines (PSM) issued the following statement regarding the International Internet Week of Action, code named Operation Pangea II, intended to curb illegal actions involving medical products.  PSM is a group of organizations and individuals dedicated to protecting consumers from counterfeit medicines.

As an advocate for drug safety, the Partnership for Safe Medicines applauds this international effort, which has the potential to positively impact patients around the world.  PSM congratulates INTERPOL, the World Health Organization’s (WHO) International Medical Products Anti-Counterfeiting Taskforce (IMPACT) and the law enforcement agencies from the 24 participating countries who took part in the International Internet Week of Action (IIWA). 

International cooperation is essential to shutting down rogue online pharmacies and curbing the widespread illicit sale of substandard, unapproved and counterfeit drugs.  While investigations in a number of countries are still ongoing, Operation Pangea II has already resulted in a series of arrests, revealed 751 Web sites engaged in illegal activity, 72 of which have now been taken down, and the seizure of nearly 167,000 illicit and counterfeit medicines.  The exemplary collaboration between drug regulators, the customs services and the police is evident in these cases. 

Criminals that operate illegal online pharmacies do not observe quality control standards, are interested only in profits, and have no regard for patient safety.  Although their products may appear to be authentic, medicine purchased from an unregulated Web site has unknown origins and contents.

The Partnership offers free, online resources for consumers and pharmacists, such as the Consumer Resources kit and the L.E.A.D.E.R.’s Guide, to help ensure the safety of their prescription drugs and minimize their risk of getting a counterfeit drug.  For more information, visit www.safemedicines.org.

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About the Partnerships for Safe Medicines
The Partnership for Safe Medicines is a group of organizations and individuals that have policies, procedures, or programs to protect consumers from counterfeit or contraband medicines.  To join us in our stand against counterfeit drugs or obtain your own copy of the Principles for Drug Safety doctrine, please visit www.SafeMedicines.org.

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