BrandShield takes down 850 rogue pharmacies in a year

BrandShield Systems says it removed around 850 rogue online pharmacy websites between December 2020 and November 2021, in a collaboration with the Pharmaceutical Security Institute (PSI).

The brand protection company – which specialises in the monitoring, detection and removal of online threats – also took action against around 14,000 fraudulent e-commerce listings and 4,000 social media posts suspected of peddling falsified medicines.

The listings that were removed contained medicines for cancer, diabetes, asthma, COVID-19, and Alzheimer's among others, with an estimated total value of $1.8m.

"Criminal fraudsters and scammers posing as reputable pharma companies are a major public health risk for the millions across the globe who are in the market looking for products to treat a range of life-threatening diseases," said BrandShield's chief executive Yoav Keren.

"In our work with PSI, we are taking the fight back to not only detect dubious online sellers but also remove these threats as they happen. Such a proactive approach ensures that patients are protected from further harm."

The results of the crackdown – which came as the COVID-19 pandemic was at its height – was heavily weighted on Indonesia, which accounted for almost 13,400 fraudulent listings, followed by India (566), Philippines (171), Malaysia (135) and Singapore (120).

"The report looked at marketplaces and online social platforms with over 100 reported fake listings," said BrandShield.

"A popular social media platform stood out as the least compliant with only 33 per cent of reported fraud removed, nearly two times less compliant than the other platforms reviewed."

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