Pharma groups issue joint statement on illegal online pharmacies24-Jul-2012
Four pharmaceutical industry organisations have issued recommendations to try to crack down on the online trade in illegal medicines, and welcomed the formation of a new US organisation called the Center for Safe Internet Pharmacies (CSIP) to spearhead the initiative.
The International Federation of Pharmaceutical Manufacturers & Associations (IFPMA), Pharmaceutical Research and Manufacturers of America (PhRMA), European Federation of Pharmaceutical Industries & Associations (EFPIA) and Japanese Pharmaceutical Manufacturers Association (JPMA) are behind the joint policy statement.
The group is seeking the help of the Internet Corporation for Assigned Names and Numbers (ICANN), as well as Internet domain name registrars, search engine operators and payment service providers to target illegal online pharmacies.
"Counterfeiting is a crime against patients and poses a public health risk that can lead to treatment resistance, extended illness, disability and even death," commented Eduardo Pisani. The IFPMA's director-general.
Among the recommendations proposed by the consortium is that ICANN, which oversees the assignment of generic top-level domain names and accredits domain registrars, takes a more active role in protecting consumers from fake medicines.
Governments and other international organisations should also "sustain oversight and enforcement" and also "focus more closely on the growing number of illegitimate online drug sellers that directly endanger public health and safety by violating existing laws, regulations, and standards put in place to protect patients".
According to a 2012 report by the US-based National Association of Boards of Pharmacy (NABP), 96 per cent of approximately 9,000 websites reviewed between 2008 and 2012 were not in compliance with state and federal laws and posed a significant risk to consumers.
- The JPMA noted that the Japanese government has indicated it will soon launch an online programme for public education and a public and private initiative against counterfeit medicines.
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