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Jena AB, Goldman DP, Foster SE, Califano JA. Prescription Medication Abuse and Illegitimate Internet-based Pharmacies. Ann Intern Med. 2011 Dec 20;155(12):848-50.

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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Mackey TK, Liang BA*. The Global Counterfeit Drug Trade: Patient Safety and Public Health Risks. J Pharm Sci. 2011 Nov;100(11):4571-9.

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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Liang BA*, Mackey TK. Vaccine shortages and suspect online pharmacy sellers. Vaccine (2011), doi:10.1016/j.vaccine.2011.11.016

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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Orizio G, Merla A, Schulz PJ, Gelatti U. Quality of Online Pharmacies and Websites Selling Prescription Drugs: a Systematic Review. J Med Internet Res. 2011 Sep 30;13(3):e74.

Abstract BACKGROUND: Online pharmacies are companies that sell pharmaceutical preparations, including prescription-only drugs, on the Internet. Very little is known about this phenomenon because many online pharmacies operate from remote countries, where legal bases and business practices are largely inaccessible to international research. OBJECTIVE: The aim of the study was to perform an up-to-date and…

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Leontiadis N, Moore T, Christin N. Measuring and Analyzing Search-Redirection Attacks in the Illicit Online Prescription Drug Trade. Proceedings of the USENIX Security Symposium; 2011: San Francisco, California: USENIX Security Symposium; 2011 p. 1-17.

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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Liang BA.*, Mackey TK. Prevalence and Global Health Implications of Social Media in Direct-to-Consumer Drug Advertising. J Med Internet Res 2011;13(3):e64

Background: Direct-to-consumer advertising (DTCA), linked to inappropriate medication use and higher health care expenditures, is the fastest growing form of pharmaceutical marketing. DTCA is legal only in the United States and New Zealand. However, the advent of online interactive social media “Web 2.0” technologies—that is, eDTCA 2.0—may circumvent DTCA legal proscriptions.Objective: The purpose of this study was…

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Liang BA.*, Mackey TK. Promoting online drug safety: Using Public–Private Partnerships to Deter Illicit Online Drug Sales. J Commer Biotechnol. (2011) 17, 266–271

Illicit online pharmacies selling counterfeit drugs in a global virtual marketplace remain a critical problem in global health. Yet they continue to operate with little regulation while growing numbers of consumers access the Internet for health information that may lead them to purchase dangerous drugs online. This global social problem requires immediate action to protect…

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Golocorbin Kon S, Mikov M. [Counterfeit Drugs as a Global Threat to Health]. [Article in Serbian]. Med Pregl. 2011 May-Jun;64(5-6):285-90.

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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Levchenko K, Pitsillidis A, Enright B, et al. Click Trajectories: End-to-End Analysis of the Spam Value Chain. Proceedings of the IEEE Symposium and Security and Privacy, Oakland, CA, May 2011.

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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Liang B A*, Mackey T. Direct-to-Consumer Advertising With Interactive Internet Media. JAMA. 2011 2 23; 305 (8): 824-825.

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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