Following are links to trusted online resources to help guide consumers, medical community members, and others considering purchasing prescription drugs via the internet.
The Alliance for Safe Online Pharmacies (ASOP) represents a broad coalition of stakeholders who have an interest in protecting patient safety and ensuring patient access to safe and legitimate online pharmacies. Stakeholders include:
- Patients and their advocates
- Pharmacists and pharmacies
- Other health care providers
- Boards of Pharmacy
- Public health organizations
- Pharmaceutical companies
Drugs to fight cancer are often targets for counterfeiters due to their cost and need in life-saving medical treatments. The American Cancer Society has provided a number of important tips for those seeking medicines to fight cancer, or other ailments, online. Tips include how to purchase medicines online safely, how to properly identify legitimate online pharmacies, and how to avoid fraudulent websites.
November is National Diabetes Awareness Month and with the rise in the number of people diagnosed with diabetes there is increased concern over illegally sold products promising to prevent, treat, and cure diabetes. The U.S. Food and Drug Administration has resources and videos to remind consumers of the importance of purchasing only FDA-approved medications from reputable online pharmacies. Learn about the concerns of fraudulent diabetes medications, see examples of illegally-sold products and the misleading claims listed on these products, and find tips for how to identify safe online pharmacies.
In December 2014 EMD Serono, Inc., a pharmaceutical manufacturer specializing in HIV-associated Wasting, infertility and relapsing MS therapeutics, released Check My Meds, a free app available in English for iOS and Android mobile phones. Check My Meds enables patients, caregivers and others to verify the authenticity of the serial numbers on most EMD Serono products.
In addition to authentication of the EMD Serono medicine package, app users can also connect to support staff for questions about the medication, its appropriate use, and general information. This tool underscores the importance of incorporating technology into product security checks in the prescription drug supply chain.
Check My Meds is available for free in the iTunes or Google Play stores.
Nearly 2,500 teens begin abusing prescription drugs each day (source: SAMHSA). The CRC Health Group created this infographic to increase awareness about the potential dangers of prescription medications. They also provide tips for prescription drug safety and provide a search feature to find a treatment facility for those struggling with prescription drug addiction.
As part of our education campaign, we wanted to create a fresh take on classic PSA videos. The result: a creative, crowdsourced video campaign supported by Tongal. We encourage interested stakeholders to share these videos via social media and other forums.
March is National Nutrition Month and a good time to be reminded that just as when you purchase prescription drugs online, it is important to exercise caution when buying vitamins, herbals, and other dietary supplements. The Federal Trade Commission (FTC) provides information about dietary supplements for consumers including guidance on safety and risk of tainted products and how to be aware of scams and fraudulent health claims.
“FDA BeSafeRx – Know Your Online Pharmacy” is a national campaign to educate consumers about the dangers of buying medicine from fake online pharmacies and help people safely buy medicine online. Sponsored by the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA), the campaign seeks to educate consumers and health care professionals about the health risks of buying prescription medicine through fake online pharmacies and to help current and potential online pharmacy consumers to make informed purchasing decisions
Based on a panel survey of 6,090 adults who have bought something over the Internet, of the respondents who purchased prescription medicine online, almost one in five of those who reported purchasing from an online pharmacy indicated that they bought from a website that was not associated with a local pharmacy or health insurance plan. This may be risky because there are tens of thousands of fraudulent pharmacies on the Internet. Get more information from this survey from this September 2013 FDA Be Safe Rx Campaign infographic sheet.
Fight the Fakes is a campaign that aims to raise awareness about the dangers of fake medicines. The campaign gives a voice to those who have been personally impacted and shares the stories of those working to put a stop to this threat to public health. It seeks to build a global movement of organizations and individuals who will shine light on the negative impact that fake medicines have on people around the globe and to reduce the negative consequences on individuals worldwide.
Fight the Fakes partners endorse the campaign and share the belief that coordination among all actors involved in the manufacturing and distribution of medicines is vital to tackle this public health threat.
CSIP is a partner of Fight the Fakes.