The Center for Safe Internet Pharmacies’ blog profiles efforts to address the growing problem of consumer access to illegitimate pharmaceutical products on the Internet from the perspective of CSIP staff and board members and partners. It is updated on a a regular basis with new information and breaking news stories so be sure to check back often.
A deadly problem has been quietly taking root in the United States. Illicit fentanyl, a synthetic opioid that is 50 to 100 times more potent than morphine, is being sold as counterfeit pain medication. Consumers should take heed, as it can be lethal in very small doses, as evident by the death of the singer Prince last year.
According to CNN, counterfeit pills made with fentanyl, but marked as oxycodone or Xanax, can be deadly. Unsuspecting buyers, including patients with severe pain, have no idea what they are really getting from a rogue online pharmacy or a drug dealer. Counterfeit fentanyl is easy to manufacture. Pill presses that are made in China, can be purchased easily and inexpensively online, and they can be used to turn fentanyl powder into pill form to mimic drugs, such as the pain killer, oxycodone, and the anti-anxiety drug, Xanax. Read More
Counterfeit drugs pose a significant public health risk to consumers, as they may lack active ingredients or even contain dangerous substances. While counterfeiting is often more prevalent in developing countries, dangerous fake medication can be purchased online, making this a global concern. In an effort to help consumers and health professionals stay safe from the dangers associated with these drugs, researchers and authentication companies are developing viable solutions to help detect counterfeit products. Read More
The death of the artist Prince this past spring from an opioid overdose seemed to be just one more example of a rising public health epidemic. However, a recent report has added another level of concern – the drugs he took to manage chronic pain were counterfeit hydrocodone containing the deadly drug fentanyl. As highlighted in an August blog post for the Partnership for Safe Medicines, the artist “appears to have been a victim of the fentanyl-laced counterfeit pain pill epidemic sweeping the United States.” Read More