May 2010

MEPs agree to clamp down on fake drugs

MEPs have overwhelmingly approved plans for strengthening draft EU legislation aimed at preventing counterfeit medicines from entering the supply chain, with the inclusion of internet drug sales.

The inclusion of internet drug sales, proposed by Marisa Matias, a member of the

Portuguese European United Left–Nordic Green Left (EUL-NGL), was supported by 51 votes with none against by the European Parliament's environment, public health and food safety (ENVI) committee.

Internet pharmacies, under the new proposals, will have to obtain EU state-authorisations in which they are allowed to operate. It also recommends for an EU logo on approved sites in order to distinguish between legal and illegal online pharmacies, all of which are to be recorded in a European database.

Read the full story: http://www.pharmatimes.com/WorldNews/article.aspx?id=17771&src=EWorldNews

Attention on the growing threat of counterfeit meds is refocused with IFPMA’s 10 principles

New data revealing the incidence of counterfeit medicines is up by 50% over last year, sparks a response from the International Federation of Pharmaceutical Manufacturers and Associations (IFPMA; Geneva, Switzerland), who recently developed 10 principles on counterfeit medicines in attempts to refocus attention on this rapidly growing issue.

Read the full story and download IFPMA’s 10 principles: http://www.pharmaceuticalcommerce.com/frontEnd/1481-International_Federation_of_Pharmaceutical_Manufacturers_and_Associations_anticounterfeiting_World_Health_Organization.html

Fake logo used on online pharmacy to feign legitimacy

A Russian-based online pharmacy which advertises prescription-only medicines for sale without a prescription has been claiming endorsement by the Pharmaceutical Group of the European Union (PGEU) in attempts to appear legitimate and legal. A fake and very similar logo of the PGEU was displayed on the site along with a fake certificate, complete with the forged signature of the PGEU President, Filip Babylon.

A member of the PGEU received a spam email message from the online pharmacy which led to the subsequent discovery of the PGEU’s apparent endorsement. The site has now been taken down.

Read the full story: http://www.euractiv.com/en/health/online-pharmacy-caught-faking-logos-news-494428

Rogue online pharmacy uses social media vehicle to attract customers

An online pharmacy classified as rogue by LegitScript last year has recently been found advertising its products on the popular social media vehicle, Twitter. Presciption-only medicines and their prices are advertised, and direct visitors to the online store. Online social media vehicles are becoming an increasing target for such illegal companies as they are an effective method of reaching many widespread internet users.

Read the full story: http://www.safemedicines.org/2010/05/rogue-pharmacy-using-social-media.html

German customs so far successful in targeting illegal pharma trade

An international operation, named Project Blue, headed by German customs specifically targeting the trade in counterfeit medicines, especially on the Internet, has been thus far successful, in its first 18 months.

The operation involved monitoring of the internet to identify websites offering illegal medicines for sale, and tracing financial transactions. Customs from a number of countries and other enforcement bodies including the police, worked with the pharmaceutical industry and credit card companies to track these criminals. The operation has thus far resulted in seven arrests, seizing more than 172,000 medicine units and nearly €390,000 in cash.

Read the full story: http://www.securingpharma.com/40/articles/455.php