Abstract: Online sales of counterfeit or unauthorized products drive a robust underground advertising industry that includes email spam, "black hat" search engine optimization, forum abuse and so on. Virtually everyone has encountered enticements to purchase drugs, prescription-free, from an online "Canadian Pharmacy." However, even though such sites are clearly economically motivated, the shape of the underlying…

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Abstract Poor-quality antimalarial drugs lead to drug resistance and inadequate treatment, which pose an urgent threat to vulnerable populations and jeopardize progress and investments in combating malaria. Emergence of artemisinin resistance or tolerance in Plasmodium falciparum on the Thailand—Cambodia border makes protection of the effectiveness of the drug supply imperative. We reviewed published and unpublished…

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Abstract Counterfeit antimalarials (mainly artemisinin derivatives) is a crucial health problem in developing countries, particularly in Africa. The illegal production, sale and distribution of fake drugs is a huge market evaluated to several billion of dollars and represents more than 50% of the pharmaceutical market in several African countries. Fake drugs have led to a…

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Abstract Background Monitoring resistance phenotypes for Plasmodium falciparum, using in vitro growth assays, and relating findings to parasite genotype has proved particularly challenging for the study of resistance to artemisinins. Methods Plasmodium falciparum isolates cultured from 28 returning travellers diagnosed with malaria were assessed for sensitivity to artemisinin, artemether, dihydroartemisinin and artesunate and findings related…

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Abstract Counterfeit medicines pose an ever-increasing threat to public health, although precise tracking of illegal counterfeit prescription drug activity is difficult. Available data indicate that all types of medications have been targeted. Adverse health effects, including death, have resulted from using counterfeit medications; consumers who self-medicate without appropriate interactions with the healthcare system rarely receive…

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ABSTRACT  Background: Unprecedented drug shortages announced by the US Food and Drug Administration (FDA) have severely affected therapeutic access, patient safety, and public health. With continued shortages, patients may seek drugs online. Objective: To assess the prevalence of online marketing for current FDA shortage drugs and potential patient safety risks. Methods: We performed a descriptive study of the…

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Abstract Abuse of controlled prescription medications in the United States exceeds that of all illicit drugs combined except marijuana and has grown considerably in the past decade. Although available through traditional channels, controlled prescription medications can also be purchased on the Internet without a prescription. This issue has gained the attention of federal regulators, law…

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Abstract Counterfeit drugs are a global problem with significant and well-documented consequences for global health and patient safety, including drug resistance and patient deaths. This multibillion-dollar industry does not respect geopolitical borders, and threatens public health in both rich and resource-poor nations alike. The epidemiology of counterfeits is also wide in breadth and scope, including…

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Abstract Vaccines represent half the products on the FDA Biologics Product Shortages list. As a result, providers and patients may purchase them online, a process rife with patient safety risks. We examined vaccine online availability by assessing up to 5 identified online sellers. We determined if sites were accredited by the National Association of Boards…

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