The Center for Safe Internet Pharmacies (CSIP) and the Alliance for Safe Online Pharmacies (ASOP) released a public service announcement this week that will run in New York City’s Times Square through January 2015. The 520 square foot advertisement warns consumers to be cautious when purchasing prescription drugs online because it could be “gambling with your life”.
According to the National Association of Boards of Pharmacies (NABP), 97% of online pharmacies are illegal, meaning they do not comply with U.S. pharmacy laws and standards. However, it is virtually impossible for consumers to identify the difference between a fake and a legitimate pharmacy website. CSIP, whose members include leading Internet service providers and ASOP, who represents health stakeholders, work together to proactively address the growing threat of illegal online drug sellers who peddle dangerous drugs directly to consumers.
The Internet is the largest source of falsified medicines. Consumers, caregivers and even doctors are being deceived by illegal online drug sellers who pose as legitimate pharmacies. These rogue sites sell falsified versions of life-saving medications, including those treating high cholesterol, osteoporosis, high blood pressure, cancer and even HIV/AIDS, often without the required prescription. According to the World Health Organization, in over 50% of cases, medicines purchased over the Internet from illegal sites that conceal their physical address have been found to be counterfeit.
Through this campaign, CSIP and ASOP are educating patients directly so they can protect themselves and their loved ones from fake medicines sold online. For more information about where to safely buy prescription drugs online or to verify your pharmacy, go to www.safemedsonline.org.
The Center for Safe Internet Pharmacies (CSIP) and our 13 member companies have the shared goal of helping address the growing problem of consumer access to illegitimate pharmaceutical products on the Internet.
The Alliance for Safe Online Pharmacies (ASOP) is a nonprofit organization that seeks to protect patient safety globally and ensure patient access to safe and legitimate online pharmacies in accordance with applicable laws. Find out more at www.safeonlinerx.com and www.asop.eu