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NABP Alerts the Public About Online Drug Sellers Taking Advantage of Drug Shortage Fears

Posted Apr 24 2012 10:22pm

The National Association of Boards of Pharmacy® (NABP®) today issued a report to raise awareness about how rogue Internet drugs sites are preying on consumers’ fears about drug shortages. With the most critical shortages involving cancer, antibiotic, nutrition, and electrolyte-imbalance medicines, counterfeiters are taking advantage of a lucrative niche market for fake prescription medicine. A report NABP released today on Internet drug outlets found that 96% of the more than 9,500 Web sites analyzed continue to operate out of compliance with United States pharmacy laws, fuel prescription drug abuse and misuse, and provide an outlet for counterfeit medicines to enter the US drug supply – all of which significantly endanger the health and safety of Americans.

NABP has identified several rogue drug sites affiliated with the counterfeit Avastin® scheme that sell unapproved medications from numerous foreign sources to US patients without a valid prescription, putting patients in danger. In addition, NABP has found that rogue Internet drug outlets are exploiting consumers’ concern over prescription drug shortages to spread misinformation and sell counterfeit and substandard drugs, such as erectile dysfunction medications – many of them knockoffs of legitimate brands – that are not in short supply.

“The problems of prescription drug shortages, gray-market wholesalers, and illegal online drug sellers are intertwined,” said NABP President Malcolm J. Broussard, RPh. “Patients and health care providers must be educated about which medications are in short supply, and how to distinguish legitimate sources from conniving frauds. NABP continues to encourage new methods and partnerships among state boards of pharmacy, federal regulators, and other public and private stakeholders to protect the public health and educate the public about counterfeit drugs and other potential dangers of buying medication from unknown and unapproved sources over the Internet.”

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