The Center for Safe Internet Pharmacies strives to stay on top of the latest topics, trends and developments related to counterfeit online medicines and illegitimate internet pharmacies. This page will also be updated with CSIP happenings, as well as news from our members. Members of the media and others are invited to contact us for additional information.
Counterfeit medications are a global threat. When medications aren’t what they are labeled to be, not only are symptoms not treated, but fatal side effects can occur. In Kenya, CFW Clinics, owned by the US-based Health Store Foundation, is trying to be a source of safe, authentic drugs.
A recent episode of PBS NewsHour highlighted the work of CFW Clinics and its processes and services to help ensure product integrity and patient safety.
Deaths from drug overdoses increased more than 22% in the United States between 2015 and 2016, according to data from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. Fentanyl is now the top cause of overdoses – surpassing heroin – and the Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration estimates that there are over 2 million individuals addicted to opioids in the US. It is a public health crisis of epidemic proportions with more questions than answers, and the information community is looking to Google and other sources of “big data” to help identify the trends that could impact programs needed to create and foster change.
According to a July 2017 article in the Washington Post, “Data from Google Trends shows that search interest in all topics related to drug withdrawal has roughly doubled over the past decade.” Further analysis reveals that these searches originated from areas of the US with high death rates from opioid addiction. Analysis of Google searches also shows that interest in drug withdrawal is highest at the beginning of the calendar year and there may be opportunities to synthesize this data into “just-in-time” intervention and education activities. Prescription monitoring systems and other tracking tools, can help identify those most at risk and put processes in place for better, safer patient care.
Research published in the December issue of the Journal of the American Medical Association, Internal Medicine, reveals that when one person in a family gets a prescription for opioids, others in the household are likely to get one as well.
The study out of Johns Hopkins University Bloomberg School of Public Health in Baltimore used insurance claims to examine “data on about 12.6 million people living in a household where someone was prescribed opioids and 6.4 million individuals in homes where someone was prescribed a different option for pain – nonprescription steroidal anti-inflammatory (NSAID) drugs.”
While the overall increased risk was relatively small, given the high number of opioid prescriptions in the United States and the quickly-escalating cases of addiction, it is important to consider the potential implications of family members sharing prescriptions.