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Interpol's Internet-targeted Operation Seizes $2.6m Of Illegal Drugs–Education Campaign With Buying Drugs Online–Rea

Posted Oct 17 2010 11:21am

Interpol the multi nation police agency has their own campaign warning individuals image about buying medications online.  In this first video below the woman who bought weight loss drugs has not become a diabetic for life, who was not one before.  This was her first online purchase and she was trying to save money and the pills did work but had high levels of diuretics. This message itself is strong enough to I believe make one think twice.  The messages here are about buying from a legitimate pharmacy

The next visit is someone who bought fake blood pressure medications and the drugs had twice the amount of the active ingredient and he had a heart attack and passed away.

Here’s one more story of someone who bought sleeping pills on line and they contained boric acid and now needs a liver transplant.

Interpol also has a web page with additional information and you can view these same videos and read more information.  Their actions have closed down around 294 websites so far and with the internet, we are affected here in the US too with some of the sites being open game for sales internationally. 

This brings me back around once more to having 2D bar coding for prescription and over the counter medicines to check for recalls and to see if the drug is legitimate.  An encrypted gateway can be used for sign on and yes the online drug retailers will try to copy the bar codes as one has to assume this fact, but those drugs when scanned with a cell phone with using the bar code not being able to delivery the appropriate information from a drug a company, verified with a synchronized tag or bar code from the US FDA are not going to give a consumer the right information, thus if someone bought a product online, received the package or bottle and scanned for authenticity and it did not correspond with the appropriate tracking, then beware and don’t take the drugs. 

I started this campaign as a recall effort for drugs and devices and with some additional planning and using an encrypted gateway this could also be a way for consumers to check the drugs they purchased and this could also go one step further in requiring those selling drugs to post their bar codes online, which is another way for Interpol and the US DEA to track these folks and find those selling drugs without the appropriate bar codes.  Up front, consumers could be aware of the fact that if there’s no bar code for each product referenced online, then don’t buy it.  This could be a big way to keep the counterfeit folks down to a minimum and they become trackable too. 

Scan that knee, hip, defibrillator before you use it, takes a few seconds and will help hospital registries function and less mistakes with recalls.  Hospitals work hard to do a good job at this, but I continue to read stories to where patients have been implanted with a device that had been recalled and it was missed.  One story in particular involved a man who was implanted with a heart device that had been recalled and he died when it malfunctioned.  To me, this could have been a preventable incident and a life could have been saved if a simple scan would have put up the red flags to not use the device.

When items are scanned, a “heat map” can be used to see where the products that have been scanned are located.  Below is a simple example of folks using my bar code for the Medical Quack and it shows where my simple Tags have been used.

I have been scanned in Europe too so if we were to take some of this same technology and use it to track as well as the ability to ensure to consumers that they are buying legal drugs I think this would help out a lot.  If these were pharmaceutical products or devices, the same map would show where the products have been scanned.  Part of this could even be used to help consumers too, no heat map, well then be aware and think twice as it would appear nobody is out there checking.

Again, I started this little campaign for recalls but I believe there’s use here too for working with authenticity of drugs and devices too.  With the present state of the economy, consumers are looking desperately for ways to save money and any of us could be enticed at times into areas to perhaps where we should not be looking and at times with marketing and other items on the web getting more intense, it is hard to tell the difference and the old saying of if it sounds to good to be true, then it probably is still has some merit. 

Interpol has carried out a major new operation against online pharmacies offering medicines illegally, resulting in the seizure of more than a million illicit and counterfeit pills worth an estimated $2.6m.
The haul of illicit and counterfeit medicines included antibiotics, steroids, cancer drugs, antidepressants, epilepsy treatments, as well as illegal slimming and food supplement products, said Interpol.
Operation Pangea III also resulted in 76 people being arrested or placed under investigation around the world, while 694 websites were monitored for nefarious activity, said Interpol, which coordinated the enforcement action with the assistance of police forces, customs and national regulatory authorities.

Other groups contributing their expertise included IMPACT, the World Customs Organisation (WCO), the Permanent Forum of International Pharmaceutical Crime (PFIPC) and the Heads of Medicines Agencies Working Group of Enforcement Officers (HMA WGEO).

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