On Tuesday, the FDA issued a warning about another counterfeit drug infiltrating the US market through an illegitimate online pharmacy. This warning serves to underscore the true depth of the public health threat that rogue online drug sellers pose to patients.
This week's LinkPad looks at the reports on this recent discovery.
- On CNN Newsroom, Senior Medical Correspondent, Elizabeth Cohen, discusses the discovery of the counterfeit drug and ways to ensure that an online pharmacy is legitimate.
- CBS News emphasizes that the fake medication is currently on the FDA drug shortage list, demonstrating how counterfeiters target medicines in short supply.
- According to an article in the Los Angeles Times, the counterfeit drug contained no active ingredient, meaning it is ineffective in treatment.
On any given day, almost 40,000 websites peddle alleged prescription drugs, but studies have shown that up to 95% of these websites are illegitimate and unsafe. By purchasing medicines from websites that fail to abide by laws and patient safety standards, individuals may expose themselves to dangerous substances that have caused serious illness and death.
This incident further demonstrates that counterfeiters are just as willing to produce fake generic medicines as brand name drugs, and that fakes can be from any therapeutic area. As online medicine purchase becomes exceedingly common, the incentive for counterfeiters continues to grow. New policies, new laws, such as the Online Safety Pharmacy Act, and education programs are vital to protecting patients from unchecked internet sales, and the threat they pose to public health.
For more information, please check out the Alliance for Safe Online Pharmacies' (ASOP) FAQ on how to purchase medications from safe and legitimate online pharmacies.