The National Association of Boards of Pharmacy (NABP) has published alarming findings on the dangers of rogue websites. The new report, The Internet Drug Outlet Identification Program Progress Report for State and Federal Regulators: July 2011, found that out of 8,000 websites selling prescription drugs, 96% do not comply with United States pharmacy laws, facilitate prescription drug abuse and misuse, and provide an outlet for counterfeit medicines to enter the US drug supply. NABP has issued a public health alert in response to the report findings:
“The fake online pharmacy crisis has reached an epidemic level – they prey on prescription drug abusers and the most vulnerable members of society who rely on medicine every day for their health,” said NABP President Malcolm J. Broussard, RPh. “They offer easy access to potent medicines without a prescription and indiscriminately push dangerous counterfeit drugs. This problem poses a clear danger to Americans’ health and safety and weakens the essential relationships between pharmacists and patients. By issuing a public health alert, we are calling on pharmacists, physicians, and other health professionals to educate their patients about the growing public health threat posed by these illegal online enterprises.”
This report is a troubling reminder that rogue sites aren’t just illegal – too often, they are dangerous. And as we saw in this video from FightOnlineTheft.com, counterfeit drugs purchased from rogue sites can even be fatal.
From malware and identify theft to and counterfeit prescription medicines, rogue sites are clearly a serious threat to health and safety. This is yet another reason why we need legislation like the PROTECT IP Act to protect the American people against those who threaten our safety for a profit.