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Larissa Doucette

An analysis on a recent report from the Group of 8 (G8) shows that rogue online drug outlets are an issue worldwide. The G8 has been collaborating to undermine counterfeit drug sellers through an agreement to exchange information according to national laws and to share best practices in combating counterfeit medication, according to the Partnership for Safe Medicines (PSM).

Some of PSM’s observations from the report include:

  • 4,000 of the 18,000 drug outlets under investigation were tied to Canada in some way.
  • 70,000 fake prescription drugs were discovered in the secure supply chain in the United Kingdom; more than 30,000 doses remain unaccounted for and possibly sold online.
  • France confiscated 1.2 million doses of fake aspirin hidden in tea in 2012.
  • Germany found over 100 drug outlets offering illegally imported counterfeit cancer drugs for sale in 2010.
  • A Russian network called Glavmed is known for posing as Canadian drug stores and is also one of the top three sources of online antivirus scams.

To visualize and share information from the G8 report, PSM and the Alliance for Safe Online Pharmacies have released an infographic that is now available on their Web sites.

According to NABP’s Internet Drug Outlet Identification Program Progress Report for State and Federal Regulators: July 2013, of more than 10,500 Web sites selling prescription medications nearly 97% operate out of compliance with pharmacy laws and practice standards which have been established to protect public health in the United States and many other developed countries. NABP encourages consumers to consult the list of recommended sites that have been accredited by the NABP Verified Internet Pharmacy Practice SitesCM (VIPPS®) accreditation program. The list of VIPPS-accredited sites is available at