PR: Alliance for Safe Online Pharmacies (ASOP Global) announces four new members

The International Alliance for Patients' Organizations (IAPO), Consumer Online Foundation (COF) India, National Council on Patient Information and Education (NCPIE), and Healthcare Distribution Alliance (HDA) have joined the Alliance for Safe Online Pharmacies (ASOP Global), it was announced today.

The International Alliance for Patients' Organizations (IAPO), whose members include 276 member organizations from 71 countries representing 50 disease areas, was one of the hosts of the March 2017 International Forum on Patient Safety and Access to Safe Online Pharmacies in New Delhi, India, an event organized by ASOP Global.

"IAPO is committed to ensuring patient access to safe medicine whether it is purchased online or offline," said IAPO Board Member Bejon Misra. "We are thrilled to join ASOP Global to help address the threats posed by illegal online drug sellers and steer patients to safe sources of medicine."

The Consumer Online Federation (COF) India, which provides an additional international perspective to ASOP Global, also co-hosted the March 2017 India Forum.

"COF works for consumer rights in India, but we know illegal online drug sellers operate globally, impacting consumers worldwide," said COF Director Pyush Misra. "We are proud to join ASOP Global to help make online pharmacies safer for consumers wherever they live."

The National Council on Patient Information and Education (NCPIE) and Healthcare Distribution Alliance (HDA) were among the 16 organizations that served as partners in ASOP Global's recent Healthcare Provider Awareness Campaign.

"Through the strength and commitment of our diverse membership, NCPIE plays a leadership role in educating patients, physicians and others about all aspects of medicine safety," explained NCPIE's Executive Vice President, Ray Bullman. "We look forward to continuing to do all we can as an ASOP Global member to ensure that patients have the information they need to stay safe, avoid adverse drug reactions, and live healthier lives."

"The Healthcare Distribution Alliance is the national organization representing primary pharmaceutical distributors — the vital link between the nation's pharmaceutical manufacturers and more than 200,000 pharmacies, hospitals, long-term care facilities, clinics and others nationwide," said HDA President and CEO John M. Gray.

"Joining ASOP Global demonstrates our ongoing commitment to a safe and secure pharmaceutical supply chain and protecting consumers from counterfeit or otherwise unsafe medicines, including products sold by illegal online drug sellers."

About Counterfeit Medicines and Illegal Online Pharmacies

Worth $200bn a year, the market for counterfeit pharmaceuticals now eclipses almost everything else in the underground economy, including prostitution, human trafficking and illegal arms sales.

According to a report issued in 2016 by ASOP Global and LegitScript, 65 per cent of Internet search results for prescription drugs lead US consumers to illegal and unsafe websites and 600 new Internet pharmacy websites are launched every month. Counterfeit medicines often contain little or no active ingredients or, worse yet, dangerous and deadly poisons, including floor wax, mercury, concrete, chalk, boric acid, road tar, and anti-freeze.

"There are more than 35,000 illegal online pharmacies at any given time and 600 new illegal sites are launched every month," explained ASOP Global's Executive Director, Libby Baney. "Every new member helps us to reach more providers, patients and policymakers around the globe with the information they need to understand this issue and the tools they need to stay safe online."

About the Alliance for Safe Online Pharmacies (ASOP Global)

Headquartered in Washington, DC, the Alliance for Safe Online Pharmacies (ASOP Global) is an international non-profit organization dedicated to combatting illegal online pharmacies and counterfeit medicines and making the Internet safe for consumers worldwide through advocacy, research and education.

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