Abstract: We investigate the manipulation of web search results to promote the unauthorized sale of prescription drugs. We focus on search-redirection attacks, where miscreants compromise high-ranking websites and dynamically redirect traffic to different pharmacies based upon the particular search terms issued by the consumer. We constructed a representative list of 218 drug-related queries and automatically…

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Abstract According to the World Health Organisation, counterfeit medicines are medicines that are mislabelled deliberately and fraudulently regarding their identity and/or source. All kinds of medicines have been counterfeited, both branded and generic ones. Counterfeit medicines may include products containing correct or wrong ingredients; without active or with insufficiently or over-active ingredients, or with fake…

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Spam-based advertising is a business. While it has engendered both widespread antipathy and a multi-billion dollar anti-spam industry, it continues to exist because it fuels a profitable enterprise. We lack, however, a solid understanding of this enterprise’s full structure, and thus most anti-spam interventions focus on only one facet of the overall spam value chain…

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The option of legalizing the commercial importation of prescription drugs is of continued policy interest as a way to reduce U.S. drug spending. Using IMS data, we estimate potential savings from commercial drug importation under assumptions about percentage of drugs likely to attract imports; potential supply from foreign countries; and share of savings passed on…

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Direct-to-consumer advertising (DTCA) is legal only in the United States and New Zealand and has been linked with drug overutilization, public health concerns, and higher costs. 1 Despite global proscriptions, DTCA is the most rapidly increasing form of pharmaceutical marketing, with approximately $4 billion in US expenditures, outpacing physician marketing and research and development. Liang…

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Abstract BACKGROUND: For patients, the prescription container label may be the only source of instructions on how to take their medicines. In the United States, the legal requirements for a prescription label are set by federal law and state statutes. The container should be comparable to that which manufacturers use to package drug products and…

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European legislators are preparing new measures to clamp down on the sale of counterfeit drugs and to warn the public of the dangers of buying unauthorised drugs on the internet. The European parliament’s environment and public health committee has given overwhelming backing (51 members for, none against, and three abstentions) to moves to tackle the…

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Acute renal failure in children can have a variety of causes. There have been several epidemics of acute renal failure affecting predominantly young children where the cause has been diethylene glycol (DEG) poisoning. These children have presented with gastrointestinal bleeding, seizures and liver failure as well as renal failure. The poisoning has been the result…

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BACKGROUND: Websites of many rogue sellers of medications are accessible through links in email spam messages or via web search engines. This study examined how well students enrolled in a U.S. higher education institution could identify clearly unsafe pharmacies. OBJECTIVE: The aim is to estimate these health consumers vulnerability to fraud by illegitimate Internet pharmacies.…

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