Archive for August 2011

Liang BA.*, Mackey TK. Prevalence and Global Health Implications of Social Media in Direct-to-Consumer Drug Advertising. J Med Internet Res 2011;13(3):e64

Background: Direct-to-consumer advertising (DTCA), linked to inappropriate medication use and higher health care expenditures, is the fastest growing form of pharmaceutical marketing. DTCA is legal only in the United States and New Zealand. However, the advent of online interactive social media “Web 2.0” technologies—that is, eDTCA 2.0—may circumvent DTCA legal proscriptions.Objective: The purpose of this study was…


Fake Online Pharmacy Owner Charged in Federal Court – Accused of Distributing Counterfeit Medications

A federal grand jury in Louisville, KY, indicted an online pharmacy owner on charges of illegally distributing and dispensing controlled substances, including counterfeit medication, as well as wire fraud, and money laundering. The defendant, after fleeing to Hong Kong, was extradited for arraignment on August 23.

Stacy Allen Taylor, age 44, of Louisville, KY, is accused of illegally dispensing controlled substances to customers via online pharmacies. Taylor, operating in Kentucky, allegedly used website addresses including to distribute and dispense orders for prescription drugs for a total income of $790,000, announced the Department of Justice.

Taylor is also accused of shipping these medications from India and Hong Kong to customers in the U.S., as well as making transaction payments through a bank in Cyprus in order to avoid detection in the source of the medications.

In one instance, Taylor is accused of dispensing 90 counterfeit Phentermine pills to a resident of Frazeysburg, OH, after the resident completed an online order from with his company. Accuses the indictment, “The order was authorized by Taylor and was filled by Health PMO and associates via the internet. The order was accepted and processed without a valid prescription, interview, or physical examination by a licensed medical professional…Lab results show there was no Phentermine in the product received.”

Taylor is accused of providing customers with prescription medications without requiring prescriptions, and also providing counterfeit medications that were tested and found to contain no active ingredient.


Protect IP Act could shut down fake online “pharmacies”

According to a Washington Post editor, the Protect IP Act, introduced by Senator Patrick Leahy (D-Vt.), could protect American consumers against counterfeit medicines. If passed, the proposal would allow the Justice Department to move against any foreign website that infringes on copyright or trademarks – like the rogue online “pharmacies” that sell harmful fake medicines.…


Suspicious Botox and Laser Treatments Delivered at Hand of Fake Doctor, Indictment Accuses

A Utah Grand Jury returned 26 counts of mail and wire fraud against two Utah residents allegedly involved in a cosmetic surgery business operating without a supervising doctor and selling medications without prescriptions or medical oversight. Potentially sentenced to 30 years imprisonment and $1 million fine for each count of mail fraud, William Ricker Ferguson,…


Drug Dealers Making Counterfeit Medicines in Ghana

Ghana’s Food and Drugs Board (FDB) is investigating a link between illicit drug sellers and counterfeit medicine manufacturers. FDB is following up an investigation began by the German Crime Investigations Department, reports Peace FM. Said James Lartey, Head of Communications for the FDB, “So what is happening now is that many of [drug dealers] prefer…


Google Settlement A Positive First Step In Ensuring Safety of U.S. Drug Supply

Ten of the fifteen largest online advertising companies have no policy prohibiting unlicensed pharmacy ads The Partnership for Safe Medicines, a non-profit dedicated to curbing counterfeit drugs, today released the following statement regarding news Google will pay a $500 million fine for allowing illegal online pharmacies to advertise to U.S. consumers through its Adwords program:…


Equal Crimes, Unequal Times

Did you know? Criminals convicted of distributing counterfeit medicine to unsuspecting patients in need are often sentenced to only a fraction of the time traditional drug dealers serve. Counterfeit medicines can be extremely dangerous, even fatal, to unsuspecting patients. Authorities have seized counterfeit pills containing floor wax, brick dust and lead-based paint.


Hijacked Websites Give False Sense of Security for Online Pharmacy Clients

1/3 of every online search for prescription drug information is redirected to illicit online drug sellers. Legitimate websites are invaded by hackers who put code into the website that re-directs to a fake online pharmacy. Meanwhile, the legitimate website shows up in the search results, giving the potential customer comfort from a trustworthy brand, who…