A new study
in the May 2013 Journal of Medical Internet Research illustrates just
how easy it is for fake online pharmacies to advertise via social media outlets
such as Facebook and Twitter.
Researcher Tim Mackey and co-author Dr. Bryan
Liang set up dummy, no-prescription-required pharmacy websites, then created
advertising for the dummy sites on Facebook, Twitter, MySpace, and
Google+. They found that in the 10
months that their fake ads were running, close to 3,000 unique visitors went to
the dummy sites in search of drugs that required no prescription. Surprisingly, though they had visits from all
over the globe, the highest percentage of web traffic to their fake sites (54%)
came from the United States.
PSM applauds the members of the House of Representatives for passing HR 1919, “Safeguarding America’s Pharmaceuticals Act of 2013.”
Today, our system of prescription drug distribution heavily relies on trusting the entity you’re dealing with and their judgment. If a mistake is made, or anyone farther back in the supply chain makes a mistake in purchasing a substandard drug product, there is no ability for a good actor down the line to know this. Criminals have taken advantage of this fact, and such incidents are growing in number every year. Life-saving medications that treat osteoporosis, cancer, heart disease, and many other serious medical conditions have been faked just in the last few years, as the rules of the road have failed to keep up with the innovative nature of the criminals that prey on American patients.