A recent U.S. study revealed that of 365 online pharmacies, only two were legitimate. So how can we realistically address this problem?
As today’s economy has more and more people struggle to reduce costs, it is easy to understand why many consumers find purchasing medications online attractive. But online purchases represent the most dangerous example of “buyer beware”: the money you might save through an unverified online drug seller may cost you or your loved ones loss of health or life.
After years of neglect, I’m glad to see Congress give drug safety the attention it deserves. Last week, Reps. John D. Dingell (D-MI 15), Frank Pallone, Jr. (D-NJ 06) and Bart Stupak (D-MI 01) introduced the Food and Drug Administration Globalization Act of 2009 (H.R.759). In addition to addressing several food safety issues, the proposed legislation addresses the real threat of substandard and counterfeit drugs.
The RPSGB and the MHRA have collaborated on new guidance for pharmacists which explains the causes and consequences of counterfeiting and provides pharmacists with practical advice on detecting and reporting suspected counterfeit medicines. The guidance will be available at www.rpsgb.org and at www.mhra.gov.uk from 26 May 2006. The guidance has been jointly developed by the Royal Pharmaceutical Society of Great Britain (RPSGB) and the Medicines and Healthcare products Regulatory Agency (MHRA) following a meeting of the Society’s Practice Committee where the dangers of counterfeit medicines were debated. 24 May 2006 Read the full story at www.mhra.gov.uk.