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Avoiding Counterfeit Medication

Even experts have difficulty identifying prescription medicine that has been counterfeited. What looks like a discount of a lifetime could lead to sickness or even death if you or your loved ones fall victim to these fake medicines. These resources run the range from high tech to focused information to help you take steps to avoid counterfeit medication’s dangers. And one of the best ways to make sure you avoid fake medicine is to only purchase prescription medications from reputable sources online or locally.

Shopping for Your Family’s Medications Online: A Safety Guide

Many people are now taking to the internet to purchase medications in an attempt to get them at lower prices than they could at the local pharmacy. If you are without health insurance, or unable to afford steep copays for certain medications in this tough economy, it makes sense to shop around to find the best price for prescriptions your family needs.

Yet … mislabeled and fake medicines pose a worldwide threat and that, “.. in some countries, counterfeit prescription drugs comprise as much as 70 percent of the drug supply and have been responsible for thousands of deaths.” Everything from bogus versions of Tamiflu and cholesterol-lowering drug Lipitor to anti-anxiety medication Ativan and even diabetes test strips have been sold online.

Read more in this blog post from Katherine Stone.



STOPfakes.gov was launched to serve as a one-stop shop for U.S. Government tools and resources on intellectual property rights (IPR). The federal agencies behind STOPfakes.gov have developed a number of resources to educate and assist businesses, particularly small and medium-sized enterprises (SMEs), as well as consumers, government officials, and the general public.


Summer Travel Safety and Your Medicines

Summer Medications

Summer travel can be a fun and relaxing time – until a medication emergency occurs. The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) provides guidance for travelers who need to obtain medication when away from home – especially when traveling internationally. It is important to purchase medicines only from licensed pharmacies, check that the medication is in the original packaging, and get a receipt. Travelers should also be aware of the latest safety precautions for minimizing exposure to infectious diseases – including Zika.

View the resource.


The Internet Pharmacy Market in 2016: Trends, Challenges and Opportunities

CSIP / LegitScript logos with computer screen with pills

Prepared by LegitScript.com for the Center for Safe Internet Pharmacies

This report was commissioned by the Center for Safe Internet Pharmacies (CSIP) in order to give CSIP members and other stakeholders an understanding of the current trends and challenges in the Internet pharmacy market. This report also illustrates the impact of zero-tolerance policies on illegal activity, and how companies, like CSIP’s members, are protecting consumer health and safety through their work to block unsafe sites, collaborate with law enforcement, and educate consumers. Read More

The National Intellectual Property Rights Coordination Center

The National Intellectual Property Rights Coordination Center (IPR Center) stands at the forefront of the U.S. government’s response to global intellectual property (IP) theft. As a task force, the IPR Center uses the expertise of its member agencies to share information, develop initiatives, coordinate enforcement actions, and conduct investigations related to IP theft. Through this strategic interagency partnership, the IPR Center protects the public’s health and safety, the U.S. economy and the war fighters.


Verify Before You Buy: Online Pharmacy Verification


According to the FDA, 97% of online pharmacies are illegitimate and unsafe. Even experts have difficulty identifying a fake online pharmacy from its website alone. What looks like a discount online pharmacy from Canada or the U.S. could be a rogue website from anywhere in the world. Highly sophisticated criminal enterprises are utilizing malware, engaging in identity theft, and selling medicine that does not work, or worse, is dangerous to your health. We at CSIP have partnered with the North Carolina Department of State and others in growing coalition to provide a new website – VerifyBeforeYouBuy.org – dedicated to helping you determine if your online pharmacy is certified and from a safe source.

View website.

View the ad promoting Verify Before You Buy running in Times Square in New York City through May 2017:



World Health Organization Fact Sheet: False Medicines and Medical Products

Medicines or medical products that are tainted, falsified, or substandard pose a substantial health risk. This fact sheet from the World Health Organization (WHO) provides facts and guidance on the risks and associated preventive measures in the area of fake medicines. It also discusses the work of the WHO’s Global Surveillance and Monitoring System for tracking incidents of false medicines and medical products. 

Fact Sheet