MOUNT PROSPECT, Ill. — In a report issued last week, the National Association of Boards of Pharmacy found that 96% of rogue websites analyzed continue to operate out of compliance with U.S. pharmacy laws, fuel prescription drug abuse and misuse, and provide an outlet for counterfeit medicines to enter the U.S. drug supply.
Among 8,000 websites analyzed in "Internet Drug Outlet Identification Program Progress Report for State and Federal Regulators: July 2011," NABP discovered that:
6,812 (more than 85%) websites did not require a valid prescription;
3,687 sites offered foreign or non Food and Drug Administration-approved drugs;
2,100 had a physical address located outside of the United States; and
2,878 had server locations in foreign countries.
"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," NABP president Malcolm Broussard said. "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."
On its website, NABP publishes the Not Recommended List, which lists those Internet drug outlets that appear to be out of compliance with state and federal laws or NABP patient safety and pharmacy practice standards. To view the list, click here.