Computer Crime Research Center


Pharmacy cybercrime

Date: August 28, 2007

Losses amounting to several billions of euros are caused to official pharmaceutical companies annually by tens of thousands of online pharmacies.
Illegal medicines bought from the Internet are often stolen or counterfeit drugs, and frequently the contents of these cheap copies is not what it should be.
According to the World Health Organization WHO, around 10 per cent of the medicines sold worldwide are pirated drugs.

American MarkMonitor, the global leader in Internet fraud prevention and brand protection, published a survey last week, looking into more than 3,000 online drug stores and their products. Only four of the stores had a proper licence.
"The survey indicates that brandjackers always exploit just new brands, using more and more sophisticated methods. In this case they are attacking the pharmaceutical industy", says MarkMonitor’s Irfan Salim.
Drugs are being advertised on the Internet, by sending e-mails to potential customers, and advertising for example Viagra, the erection enhancer, as well as some of the most popular slimming medicines and antidepressants.
"Such e-mails come mainly from enterprises with no proper licence. I myself would never risk my health by buying medicines from the Internet", said Suvi-Anne Siimes, the General Director of Pharma Industry Finland.
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