Often distributed by rogue Internet drug outlets, counterfeit medications containing antibiotics are feeding a “global epidemic” of antibiotic-resistant infections, states an investigative report from Bloomberg. The report cites a new surveillance program led by the World Health Organization that has found counterfeit antibiotics to be a growing problem in all regions of the world, and not limited to developing areas. “Fake antibiotics are just as likely to reach patients in the in the United States and Europe as in poor countries through online pharmacies,” the report states.
The article also cites NABP’s finding that of the more than 10,750 Internet drug outlets surveyed, 97% were found to be out of compliance with pharmacy laws and practice standards established in the US to protect public health. To help consumers in the US find the safest sources for purchasing medications online, NABP developed the Verified Internet Pharmacy Practice SitesCM (VIPPS®) program. NABP encourages consumers to look for the VIPPS Seal and to check NABP’s list of accredited sites on the AWARXE® Prescription Drug Safety Program website. In addition, NABP has executed a contract with the Internet Corporation for Assigned Names and Numbers to be the registry operator of the new .pharmacy generic Top-Level Domain that will offer consumers a means for identifying safe, legitimate online pharmacies and resources.