Pharma hit hard by 'brandjackers'

anonymous webThe latest report by MarkMonitor has painted a picture of a pharmaceutical industry under siege from so-called brandjackers, con artists who hijack well-known brands for their own profit.

MarkMonitor specialises in tracking and analysing online abuses of leading brands, and says in its latest study that in the pharmaceutical sector is seeing "increasing evidence of worsening supply chain abuses, whereby illicit business-to-business (B2B) sellers of pills and active pharmaceutical ingredients continue to operate with impunity."

The report - available for free download here - also says that phishing attacks, with criminals posing as genuine brand holders in an attempt to acquire information such as usernames and passwords from website users, are at record levels.

There were 150,000 recorded phishing attacks in the second quarter of 2009, affecting 431 organisations.

"The number of attacks per individual organisation is at an all-time high," says MarkMonitor.

The organisation tracked six different drug brands during July - four patented and two generic - and observed continued growth in offers for the medicines via suspicious online pharmacies and B2B exchange sites.

Cybersquatting - the practice of abusing trademarks within the domain name system - continued to grow, it adds. Cybersquatted sites using the six brands from our study topped 19,000 during the study period, growing by 9 per cent from the previous year.

The survey found 2,930 online pharmacies, of which four were certified according to the USA's Verified Internet Pharmacy Practice Sites (VIPPS) system, with around 42,000 daily visitors per site. Estimated annual sales were put at $10.7bn. Nearly half of the listings for the six drugs in the study were from Chinese suppliers.

There was also a 23 per cent increase in the number of B2B bulletin board offering pills, with 652 examples found. 416 B2B exchanges were selling active pharmaceutical ingredients as powder.

"Left unchecked, this parallel universe of unscrupulous online pharmacies and questionable suppliers will continue to proliferate," concludes the report.

     Want our news sent directly to your inbox?

Yes please 2


Home  |  About us  |  Contact us  |  Advertise  |  Links  |  Partners  |  Privacy Policy  |   |  RSS feed   |  back to top