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Falsified Medicine and Misinformation on the Internet: Public Risk and Solutions
Consumers throughout the world are increasingly looking to the internet to purchase their drugs. The worldwide pandemic has caused many consumers, who had not done so previously, to look to the internet for healthcare, healthcare information and medicinal products. However, at any given time, 95% of the roughly 35,000 online drug sellers worldwide operate illegally, in violation of laws and placing consumers at risk. Drugs purchased through an illegal drug seller on the internet may contain no drug, subtherapeutic levels of a drug, a completely different drug, or toxic chemicals. These websites will appear to be “pharmacies” or other “medical centres” providing credible health care, drug information and safe and approved medications, but are not and present risk to the unknowing consumer.
Regulators throughout the world are monitoring the level of nefarious drug sellers and “medical clinics” on the internet. Regulatory solutions to combat and remove the presence of these harmful vendors and sites have not been widely implemented. Public awareness is an important step, but also raising the awareness among healthcare providers, law makers and social media platforms.
-To identify the level of illegal online drug sellers and bogus medical clinics on the internet and impact on the unsuspecting public
-To identify the barriers to overcome and better protect the public.
To identify programs and initiatives currently in place to combat misinformation, poor virtual care and falsified medication to enhance the safety and protect the internet consumer
-To encourage and support standards for virtual care.
-Ronald Guse, Chair FIP Regulators Forum - Canada
-Mike Isles,Director Alliance for Safe Online Pharmacy-EU-UK
-Justin Macy,Digital Health Senior Manager National Association of Boards of Pharmacy-USA
-Libby Baney,Senior Advisor to ASOP Global; Partner, Faegre Drinker LLP, Alliance for Safe on Pharmacy Global-USA