PSM asks major online pharmacy sales platforms for information

Today, the Partnership for Safe Medicines wrote to the leading online platforms that enable pharmacy-to-pharmacy drug sales to address a potential danger to the safety of the drug supply. PSM is concerned that counterfeit and diverted medication might be sold on online pharmacy-to-pharmacy platforms by criminals seeking to take advantage of the Drug Supply Chain Security Act exceptions for either “specific patient need” or because of a “public health emergency.” In these situations, sellers do not have to provide product tracing details to the purchasing pharmacy.

Just this past year in USA v Boris Aminov, two individuals were indicted for selling $9 million of diverted medications, including $3.5 million in HIV medications, to unsuspecting pharmacies via unspecified online marketplaces. You can read the now-unsealed indictment about this case through our Prosecution Document Archive or by clicking on the thumbnail shown.

Through research PSM has ascertained that other online platforms such as Amazon and eBay have significant partnerships in place with pharmaceutical manufacturer brandholders. The manufacturers’ brand protection teams provide a value add to the platform by monitoring it for listings of suspect product.

We understand that these two platforms provide, among other things:

  • Logins for the brand protection teams that allow them to see and flag listings of counterfeit products for platform follow-up;
  • Methods for identifying sellers through platform registration information to conduct diversion investigations;
  • Access to past sales data; and
  • Access to live platform partners for escalating problematic listing issues.

PSM is seeking information from the five platforms to understand the measures they are taking to protect the drug supply from counterfeiters.  Read the attached letters below:

On April 24, 2024, PSM sent the following additional inquiries to these four platforms.