USA Today Reports Counterfeit Drugs A Huge Portion of Fake Consumer Products Available for Sale Online

Fake Products Online

From chainsaws that come apart while in use to medications that don’t work or make people sick, products for sale online are increasingly being found to be counterfeited.

An April 30th report in USA Today points out that dangerous fake goods are easily found for sale on the Internet, and counterfeit medication numbers among the most ubiquitous fake products consumers can purchase online. They describe online counterfeiting scams as “one of the most lucrative criminal enterprises on Earth.”

USA Today also points out that according to the World Health Organization, approximately 50% of the drugs for sale on fake online pharmacies are counterfeits.

They spoke to Andy Shuttleworth, intellectual property unit chief for the National IPR Center, and speaker at the 2013 Interchange. Mr Shuttleworth told USA Today that through his work he had come to understand the threats posed by counterfeits, saying “I thought (the counterfeit market) was all about fake Louis Vuitton purses. But, wow, I quickly learned the dangers of this stuff.”

When detailing the story of Kevin Zhou and counterfeit Alli, USA Today spoke with two different patients who had the misfortune of taking the sibutramine-laced fake pills. An emergency-room doctor himself ended up in the emergency room with life-threatening health problems. Another patient, Masis Mirzakhani describes how after purchasing Alli from EBay, he began experiencing health problems almost immediately including “heart palpitations, numbness within his left arm, severe eye pressure/headache, profuse sweating and chills.”

Consumers can avoid the dangers of dangerous fake medication by shopping carefully online for their prescriptions. By only frequenting websites that feature VIPPS certification from the National Association of Boards of Pharmacy, consumers can be secure in the quality and safety of their medication.