"Canadian" Internet Pharmacies Likely to Be Scams, Study Finds

Pharmacy Times, Volume 0,0

American consumers who buydrugs on the Internet from "Canadian" pharmacies are likely to be victimizedby on-line frauds masquerading aslegitimate sources of low-cost prescriptions,according to a new study commissionedby the FDA.

Researchers at the Internet trackingfirm Cyveillance identified a whopping11,000 Web sites designed to looklike Canadian pharmacies, but foundthat less than 1 in 10 (1009) actuallysold prescription drugs. Of that group,only 214 offered registration data confirmingthat they were a Canadiancompany.

According to the researchers, manyof the pseudo-Canadian pharmacysites are actually Internet companiesoperating in the United States. Othersclaiming to be Canadian drug dispensarieswere located in such diversecountries as Barbados, Australia, Vietnam,and El Salvador.

The results of the FDA-sponsoredsurvey sparked an angry response fromthe president of the Canadian InternationalPharmacy Association (CIPA),who called for the phony sites to beshut down.

"The irony of it all is that we getcriticism," said CIPA President AndyTroszok, whose members account for80% of legitimate medication shipmentsto the United States. "The realharm is caused by the illicit sites, andmost of these are in the United States,and not in Canada. We want thosesites to be shut down."

Mr. Rankin is a freelance medical writer.